Such a self-assembly on a surface has not before been considered: Atomic force microscopy (AFM) was used as a "molecular ruler" to observe the direct assembly of coordination cages on self-assembled monolayers (SAMs). A simple process was employed using microcontact-printed (μCP) modified substrates. Metal-induced self-assembly of cavitand-based cages on SAMs (see picture) was proven by means of electrochemistry, contact-angle, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy measurements. AFM measurements on individual molecules has enabled the observation of the coordination process on a single-molecular level.
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