Chiral and catalytic effects of site-specific molecular adsorption

Bogdana Borca*, Tomasz Michnowicz, Fernando Aguilar-Galindo, Rémi Pétuya, Marcel Pristl, Verena Schendel, Ivan Pentegov, Ulrike Kraft, Hagen Klauk, Peter Wahl, Andrés Arnau, Uta Schlickum*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The changes of properties and preferential interactions based on subtle energetic differences are important characteristics of organic molecules, particularly for their functionalities in biological systems. Only slightly energetically favored interactions are important for the molecular adsorption and bonding to surfaces, which define their properties for further technological applications. Here, prochiral tetracenothiophene molecules are adsorbed on the Cu(111) surface. The chiral adsorption configurations are determined by Scanning Tunneling Microscopy studies and confirmed by first-principles calculations. Remarkably, the selection of the adsorption sites by chemically different moieties of the molecules is dictated by the arrangement of the atoms in the first and second surface layers. Furthermore, we have investigated the thermal effects on the direct desulfurization reaction that occurs under the catalytic activity of the Cu substrate. This reaction leads to a product that is covalently bound to the surface in chiral configurations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2072-2077
Number of pages6
JournalThe Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Issue number8
Early online date17 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2023


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