Intermixed adatom and surface-bound adsorbates in regular self-assembled monolayers of racemic 2-butanethiol on Au(111).

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Journal Article
Chemphyschem : a European journal of chemical physics and physical chemistry, 2015, 16 (5), pp. 928 - 932
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In situ scanning tunneling microscopy combined with density functional theory molecular dynamics simulations reveal a complex structure for the self-assembled monolayer (SAM) of racemic 2-butanethiol on Au(111) in aqueous solution. Six adsorbate molecules occupy a (10×√3)R30° cell organized as two RSAuSR adatom-bound motifs plus two RS species bound directly to face-centered-cubic and hexagonally close-packed sites. This is the first time that these competing head-group arrangements have been observed in the same ordered SAM. Such unusual packing is favored as it facilitates SAMs with anomalously high coverage (30%), much larger than that for enantiomerically resolved 2-butanethiol or secondary-branched butanethiol (25%) and near that for linear-chain 1-butanethiol (33%).
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