Surface Control of Alkyl Chain Conformations and 2D Chiral Amplification

Trioctyl-functionalized triazatriangulenium (trioctyl-TATA) deposited on Au(111) and Ag(111) surfaces by electrospray ionization was investigated using low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy. The molecule surprisingly adsorbs with gauche rather than anti conformations of the octyl groups. We observed chiral amplification in the islands. Only one of the eight possible configurations of the octyl groups was found in homochiral hexagonal networks. Quantum-chemical calculations confirmed and explained the preference for the gauche conformations of adsorbed trioctyl-TATA.