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Chirality transfers from self-assembly of achiral titanyl phthalocyanine (TiOPc) to its top-sitting TiOPc molecule has been successfully achieved. The TiOPc molecules first assemble into a porous network on Au(111) that contains periodic chiral voids, each being fenced by four axially rotating TiOPc molecules in upward adsorption geometry where their ending O atoms exclusively point away from the substrate. Additional top-sitting TiOPc molecule turns out to be chiral upon adsorption on a chiral void with its ending O atom towards the substrate. The chirality of the top-sitting TiOPc is associated with a charge transfer between its indole rings and the ending O atoms of the underlying TiOPc molecules that form the chiral void, resulting in asymmetric electronic density of the indole rings in the top-sitting molecule and accordingly the chirality of the molecular orbitals. Such a scenario also validates for other planar achiral metallo-phthalocyanines such as copper phthalocyanine that become chiral upon adsorption on the chiral voids in the underlying TiOPc assembly, indicating that the chirality transfer mechanism from assembly to top-sitting molecule is not uncommon.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: ACS nano
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