Atomic-resolution kinked structure of an alkylporphyrin on highly ordered pyrolytic graphite

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Journal Article
Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 2011, 2 (2), pp. 62 - 66
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The atomic structure of the chains of an alkyl porphyrin (5,10,15,20-tetranonadecylporphyrin) self-assembled monolayer (SAM) at the solid/liquid interface of highly ordered pyrolytic graphite (HOPG) and 1-phenyloctane is resolved using calibrated scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), density functional theory (DFT) image simulations, and ONIOM-based geometry optimizations. While atomic structures are often readily determined for porphyrin SAMs, the determination of the structure of alkyl-chain connections has not previously been possible. A graphical calibration procedure is introduced, allowing accurate observation of SAM lattice parameters, and, of the many possible atomic structures modeled, only the lowest-energy structure obtained was found to predict the observed lattice parameters and image topography. Hydrogen atoms are shown to provide the conduit for the tunneling current through the alkyl chains. © 2010 American Chemical Society.
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