Chiral Recognition of Hexahelicene on a Surface via the Forming of Asymmetric Heterochiral Trimers.

Research paper by Hong H Zhang, Hong H Liu, Chengshuo C Shen, Fuwei F Gan, Xuelei X Su, Huibin H Qiu, Bo B Yang, Ping P Yu

Indexed on: 28 Apr '19Published on: 27 Apr '19Published in: International journal of molecular sciences


Chiral recognition among helical molecules is of essential importance in many chemical and biochemical processes. The complexity necessitates investigating manageable model systems for unveiling the fundamental principles of chiral recognition at the molecular level. Here, we reported chiral recognition in the self-assembly of enantiopure and racemic hexahelicene on a Au(111) surface. Combing scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) measurements, the asymmetric heterochiral trimers were observed as a new type of building block in racemic helicene self-assembly on Au(111). The intermolecular recognition of the heterochiral trimer was investigated upon manual separation so that the absolute configuration of each helicene molecule was unambiguously determined one by one, thus confirming that the trimer was "2+1" in handedness. These heterochiral trimers showed strong stability upon different coverages, which was also supported by theoretical calculations. Our results provide valuable insights for understanding the intermolecular recognition of helical molecules.