Polymerization on Stepped Surfaces: Alignment of Polymers and Identification of Catalytic Sites


  • L.G. thanks Gerhard Ertl for helpful and stimulating discussions. We gratefully acknowledge financial support from the European projects ARTIST and AtMol.


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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.