Journal of the American Chemical Society vol:130 issue:22 pages:7119-7129
The self-assembly of a series of hexadehydrotribenzoannulene (DBA) derivatives has been investigated by scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) at the liquid/solid interface in the absence and presence of nanographene guests. In the absence of appropriate guest molecules, DBA derivatives with short alkoxy chains form two-dimensional (2D) porous honeycomb type patterns, whereas those with long alkoxy chains form predominantly dense-packed linear type patterns. Added nanographene molecules adsorb in the pores of the existing 2D porous honeycomb type patterns or, more interestingly, they even convert the guest-free dense-packed linear-type patterns into guest-containing 2D porous honeycomb type patterns. For the DBA derivative with the longest alkoxy chains (OC20H41), the pore size, which depends on the length of the alkoxy chains, reaches 5.4 nm. Up to a maximum of six nanographene molecules can be hosted in the same cavity for the DBA derivative with the OC20H41 chains. The host matrix changes its structure in order to accommodate the adsorption of the guest clusters. This flexibility arises from the weak intermolecular interactions between interdigitating alkoxy chains holding the honeycomb structure together. Diverse dynamic processes have been observed at the level of the host matrix and the coadsorbed guest molecules.