Enhancing 2D self-assembly on graphene by chemical functionalization

15 March 2016

Understanding molecular self-assembly at the solid–liquid interface is of fundamental importance for the bottom-up fabrication of functional materials.

Researchers from Strasbourg demonstrate that chemical functionalization of a prototypical PAH (coronene) by perchloro substitution significantly enhances its propensity to form a self-assembled monolayer on graphene. By using a combination of computational and experimental techniques, they showed that perchlorination enhances coronene adsorption on graphene not only by increasing the strength of surface binding, but also by reducing the entropy cost of self-assembly.

The functional advantages of such enhancement are shown in the context of the liquid-phase exfoliation (LPE) of graphite, which stands out as a promising approach for the large-scale production of graphene.

The results presented in this work delineate a novel framework to explore and quantify the energetics involved in molecular self-assembly at surfaces and interfaces. Future applications and developments may open up to the rational design of functional materials.

The work funded in part by the FRC Foundation and the Labex Chemistry of Complex Systems was done in the Labs of Marco Cecchini and Paolo Samorì in ISIS (UMR7006) in collaboration with colleagues in Karlsruhe (Manfred Kappes), Mainz (Klaus Müllen), Dresden (Xinliang Feng), Manchester (Cinzia Casiraghi) and Cronenbourg (Ovidiu Ersen). The results were published in ChemPhysChem on February 3, 2016.


Perchlorination of Coronene Enhances its Propensity to Self-Assembly on Graphene
S. Conti, M. G. del Rosso, A. Ciesielski, J. Weippert, A. Böttcher, Y. Shin, G. Melinte, O. Ersen, C. Casiraghi, X. Feng, K. Müllen, M. M. Kappes, P. Samorì, and M. Cecchini. ChemPhysChem, 2016, 17(3), pp. 352-357