Understanding periodic dislocations in 2D supramolecular crystals: the PFP/Ag(111) interface

Journal Of Physical Chemistry Letters 3, 848 - 852 (2012)

Understanding periodic dislocations in 2D supramolecular crystals: the PFP/Ag(111) interface

E. Goiri, J. M. García-Lastra, M. Corso, Z. M. Adb El-Fattah, J. E. Ortega, D. G. de Oteyza

In-plane dislocation networks arise in both inorganic and organic films as a way of relieving the elastic strain that builds up at the substrate interface. In molecule/surface systems, supramolecular interactions are weak and more complex (compared to the atomic bonds in inorganic films), and their interplay with molecule-substrate interactions is very subtle, making it difficult to single out the driving force for a nanoscale dislocation pattern. On the basis of a combined experimental and theoretical work, we here show that periodic dislocations in a molecular PFP film are mainly driven by the optimization of molecule-substrate interactions. Compared to inorganic networks however, it implies a much lower energy imbalance, allowing a thermally induced transition from a low-energy strain dislocation pattern to a high-energy incommensurate moire.

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