Dipole Amplification: A Principle for the Self-Assembly of Asymmetric Monomers on Metal Surfaces


  • O.P.H.V acknowledges financial support from the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and King's College, Cambridge. F.J.W. acknowledges the award of an Early Career Fellowship by the Leverhulme Trust.


original image

Self-assembled nanostructures: Charge transfer from an adsorbed molecule to a metal surface induces an in-plane dipole moment that is strong enough to drive self-assembly. The STM image shows a styrene tetramer adsorbed on Ag(100). The dipole moment of styrene changes from 0.15 D in the gaseous state to 1.12 D in the adsorbed state. This substrate-induced dipole amplification is crucial to increasing the intermolecular interaction energy.