Covalent nanopatterning of graphitic surfaces under electrochemical control.
This project aims to study the formation of highly ordered patterns of molecules on graphitic surfaces (highly oriented pyrolytic graphite), in which the target molecules are anchored by covalent This is achieved in a two-step process in which self-assembly of suitable molecules at the solid–liquid interface is followed by an electrochemically triggered reaction that anchors the molecules to the surface. The details of the process will be studied by scanning probe techniques and spectroscopy. In particular electrochemical scanning tunnelling microscopy (EC-STM) is a powerful technique that allows the in-situ visualisation and manipulation of molecular adsorbates. While normally metallic surfaces are used, now this technique will be implemented on graphitic surfaces. Molecules will be designed and synthesised through network partners. Potential applications of the versatile covalent nanopatterning technique we propose are varied, including intramolecular redox switching, using the initial layer of anchored molecules as seed layer, or supramolecular host-guest chemistry, all taking advantage of the covalent link of the molecules with the surface, and therefore, the increased stability.