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Keywords:

  • amino acids;
  • chirality;
  • scanning probe microscopy;
  • solid solutions;
  • surface chemistry
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Amino acids find their feet: Scanning tunneling microscopy of racemic (R,S)-proline on Cu(110) reveals rows of random chiral amino acid sequences, showing that organization is not governed by molecular chirality. Instead, the system is dictated by a strict heterochiral adsorption-footprint template, in which each adsorption position can be occupied by either enantiomer (see picture), resulting in a random solid solution in 2D.