Thiocyanate anchors for salt-like iron(II) complexes on Au(111): promises and caveats

Philipp Stock, Andreas Erbe, Manfred Buck, Dennis Wiedemann, Herve Menard, Gerald Hoerner, Andreas Grohmann*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The formation of self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) on Au(111) from solution has been investigated for two ionic iron(II) complexes of the type [Fe(L)](BF4)2, where L is tripodal hexadentate and contains three thiocyanate anchor groups. The ligands (L1, L2; donor set: N6) are obtained by Schiff base condensation of a tripodal triamine (L1: tris-(2-aminoethyl)amine, ‘tren’; L2: 1,1′,1′′-trimethyl(thiophosphoryl)trihydrazide) with 5-(4-thiocyanatobutoxy) pyridine-2-carbaldehyde. Layers of the complexes adsorbed on Au(111) from methanol solution have been characterised using scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM), infrared reflectance absorbance (IRRAS), X-ray photoelectron (XPS) and UV/Vis reflectance spectroscopies, as well as ellipsometry. Complex [Fe(L1)](BF4)2 deposits intact on a gold surface and retains its optical addressability. Elaboration of this result may provide access to a new class of self-assembled layers, employing salt-like tripodal coordination compounds with thiocyanate anchors. The second complex, [Fe(L2)](BF4)2, which contains a sulphur atom in the ligand backbone, is not sufficiently stable under the same conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1164-1180
Number of pages17
JournalZeitschrift für Naturforschung B - A Journal of Chemical Sciences
Issue number11-12
Early online date19 Dec 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Responsive Surfaces
  • Au(111)
  • Iron(II)
  • Nitrogen Ligands
  • Magnetic Properties
  • Self-assembled monolayers
  • Ray photoelectron-spectroscopy
  • Induced spin-crossover
  • Thin-films
  • Alkanethiolate monolayers
  • Organic thiocyanates
  • Crystal-structures
  • Gold-surfaces
  • XPS
  • Adsorption


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