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Fabricating complex nano-networks on solid substrates is a research area that has attracted much attention in the field of molecular self-assembly. By designing a fluorenone derivative of 2-heptyloxy-7-pentadecyloxy-9-fluorenone (HPF), we obtained a surface-confined system that presented diverse nanostructures. The assembled networks for HPF were highly dependent on the solvent and concentration. At the liquid/solid interface, chiral tetramer-S, hexamer-S, and tetramer-linear structures as well as achiral irregular-linear and random structures were recorded. On the dry surface, we observed chiral octamer-S and achiral alternate configurations. During the self-assembly process, the short and long alkyl chains of HPF showed selective identification, which contributed to the formation of S-like or anti-S-like tetramers, hexamers and octamers, resulting in chiral structures. The nanopatterns were stabilized under the driving forces of dipolar interactions, hydrogen bonds and van der Waals interactions. Moreover, we performed forcefield calculations in order to further understand the underlying mechanisms from the viewpoints of their force strengths and binding energies. In general, the present work provides a significant impetus to induce polymorphous structures, and we believe that it will promote the study of chirality and achirality in the field of molecular self-assembly.
PMID: 29905343 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]