A bis-Zn(salphen) structure shows extremely strong self-assembly both in solution as well as at the solid-liquid interface as evidenced by scanning tunneling microscopy, competitive UV-vis and fluorescence titrations, dynamic light scattering, and transmission electron microscopy. Density functional theory analysis on the Zn2 complex rationalizes the very high stability of the self-assembled structures provoked by unusual oligomeric (Zn-O)n coordination motifs within the assembly. This coordination mode is strikingly different when compared with mononuclear Zn(salphen) analogues that form dimeric structures having a typical Zn2O2 central unit. The high stability of the multinuclear structure therefore holds great promise for the development of stable self-assembled monolayers with potential for new opto-electronic materials.
Extremely Strong Self-Assembly of a Bimetallic Salen Complex Visualized at the Single-Molecule Level
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134, 7186-7192.