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Keywords:

  • heterogeneous catalysis;
  • polymerization;
  • scanning probe microscopy;
  • stepped surfaces;
  • surface chemistry
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Kinky catalysis: Surface defects, such as step edges and kinks, are thought to be the ‘active sites’ that induce site-specific chemical reactions on catalytic materials. The catalytic dissociation of a bromine atom from an organic molecule is shown to occur at kink sites on the stepped Au(10,7,7) surface (see scheme; Br=red). The anisotropic surface also facilitates the production of highly aligned polymers, formed by on-surface covalent coupling of monomer units.