Enantioselective adsorption on nanostructured surfaces.
The properties of surfaces can be modified or altered by the adsorption of molecules. While in many cases, such thin films are disordered, forming and controlling two-dimensional (2D) molecular patterns on surfaces has many important implications. Through appropriate manipulation of intermolecular interactions and molecule-substrate interactions one can “encode” the information at the molecular level via structural features such as shape, functional groups, etc. A clearer understanding and effective use of these interactions could lead to the development of functional surfaces with potential applications in molecular electronics, chiral separations, sensors based on host-guest systems, thin film materials for lubrication-to mention a few. In this project, we focus on the potential of via molecular self-assembly modified surfaces for chiral separations. We explore the role of chiral medium, i.e. the solvent, on the self-assembly of molecular systems, in particular those that form nanoporous physisorbed self-assembled monolayers on graphite and gold. In a second phase, we investigate the enantioselective adsorption of molecules, i.e. the selective adsorption of an enantiomer from a solution containing the racemate, in these chiral nanopores. Finally, we propose to upscale this separation process. Scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) will be used as main nanoscale imaging technique to visualize the surface-supported molecular nanopatterns.