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Steering molecular organization and host–guest interactions using two-dimensional nanoporous coordination systems


Metal–organic coordination networks (MOCNs) have attracted wide interest because they provide a novel route towards porous materials that may find applications in molecular recognition, catalysis, gas storage and separation1,2. The so-called rational design principle—synthesis of materials with predictable structures and properties—has been explored using appropriate organic molecular linkers connecting to metal nodes to control pore size and functionality of open coordination networks3,4,5,6,7,8,9. Here we demonstrate the fabrication of surface-supported MOCNs comprising tailored pore sizes and chemical functionality by the modular assembly of polytopic organic carboxylate linker molecules and iron atoms on a Cu(100) surface under ultra-high-vacuum conditions. These arrays provide versatile templates for the handling and organization of functional species at the nanoscale, as is demonstrated by their use to accommodate C60 guest molecules. Temperature-controlled studies reveal, at the single-molecule level, how pore size and chemical functionality determine the host–guest interactions.

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Figure 1
Figure 2: Tuning size and topology of nanocavities in metal–organic coordination networks on Cu(100).
Figure 3: Adsorption of single C60 in Fe-TPA host networks.
Figure 4: Adsorption of C60 in Fe-TMLA and Fe-TDA network hosts.


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Correspondence to Nian Lin or Johannes V. Barth.

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Stepanow, S., Lingenfelder, M., Dmitriev, A. et al. Steering molecular organization and host–guest interactions using two-dimensional nanoporous coordination systems. Nature Mater 3, 229–233 (2004).

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