Reversible Supramolecular Functionalization of Surfaces: Terpyridine Ligands as Versatile Building Blocks for Noncovalent Architectures

We report on the reversible and selective functionalization of surfaces by utilizing supramolecular building blocks. The reversible formation of terpyridine bis-complexes, based on a terpyridine ligand-functionalized monolayer, is used as a versatile supramolecular binding motif. Thereby, click chemistry was applied to covalently bind an acetylene functionalized Fe(II) bis-complex onto azide-terminated self-assembled monolayers. By decomplexation of the formed supramolecular complex, the ligand modified monolayer could be obtained. These monolayers were subsequently used for additional complexation reactions, resulting in the reversible functionalization of the substrates. The proper choice of the coordinating transition metal ions allows the tuning of the binding strength, as well as the physicochemical properties of the formed complexes and thus an engineering of the surface properties.