Tailoring the Structure of Two-Dimensional Self-Assembled Nanoarchitectures Based on NiII–Salen Building Blocks

Marta Viciano-Chumillas, Dongzhe Li, Alexander Smogunov, Sylvain Latil, Yannick J. Dappe, Cyrille Barreteau, Talal Mallah, Fabien Silly

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    The synthesis of a series of NiII–salen-based complexes with the general formula of [Ni(H2L)] (H4L=R2-N,N′-bis[R1-5-(4′-benzoic acid)salicylidene]; H4L1: R2=2,3-diamino-2,3-dimethylbutane and R1=H; H4L2: R2=1,2-diaminoethane and R1=tert-butyl and H4L3: R2=1,2-diaminobenzene and R1=tert-butyl) is presented. Their electronic structure and self-assembly was studied. The organic ligands of the salen complexes are functionalized with peripheral carboxylic groups for driving molecular self-assembly through hydrogen bonding. In addition, other substituents, that is, tert-butyl and diamine bridges (2,3-diamino-2,3-dimethylbutane, 1,2-diaminobenzene or 1,2-diaminoethane), were used to tune the two-dimensional (2D) packing of these building blocks. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations reveal that the spatial distribution of the LUMOs is affected by these substituents, in contrast with the HOMOs, which remain unchanged. Scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) shows that the three complexes self-assemble into three different 2D nanoarchitectures at the solid–liquid interface on graphite. Two structures are porous and one is close-packed. These structures are stabilized by hydrogen bonds in one dimension, while the 2D interaction is governed by van der Waals forces and is tuned by the nature of the substituents, as confirmed by theoretical calculations. As expected, the total dipolar moment is minimized
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalChemistry: A European Journal
    Issue number42
    Pages (from-to)13566–13575
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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