Preparation of Chiral Surfaces from Achiral Molecules by Controlled Symmetry Breaking


  • The authors thank A. Kositsky, T. Fegurger, and J. Jaszczak for their assistance, T. Rayment for insightful discussions, and The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund (37549-B7), and the National Science Foundation (PECASE-9985428) for funding.


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Chiral control without chirality: The adsorption of achiral liquid-crystal molecules to graphite substrates can generate surfaces with controlled enantiomeric excess and absolute chirality in the presence of a magnetic field, which assists in orienting the molecules. Unlike conventional approaches for chiral control, no chiral inputs are needed.