Surface assembly

Surface assembly describes the processes by which a disordered system of discrete atomic or molecular components forms an organized structure or pattern on a surface. Understanding the molecular structure and properties of these patterns and why they arise underpins this field, which often requires the use of surface-specific techniques such as scanning probe microscopy.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News & Views |

    Planar molecules may break mirror symmetry when aligned on a surface, but both right- and left-handed forms will be created. Starting with a single-handed precursor, chiral adsorbates of planar hydrocarbons with a single handedness are formed in on-surface reactions.

    • Karl-Heinz Ernst
    Nature Chemistry 9, 195-196
  • News & Views |

    Defect-free Sierpiński triangles can be self-assembled on a silver surface through a combination of molecular design and thermal annealing. Three-fold halogen-bonding arrays and precise surface epitaxy preclude structural errors, thus enabling the high-level complexity of these supramolecular fractal patterns.

    • Steven L. Tait
    Nature Chemistry 7, 370-371
  • News & Views |

    The controlled synthesis of two-dimensional carbon nanomaterials enables their properties to be tailored for potential device applications. Functionalized graphene-like nanosheets with controlled thickness have now been obtained by irradiating monolayers of carbon-rich molecular precursors at room temperature.

    • Jean-François Morin
    Nature Chemistry 6, 463-464