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Self-assembly at the liquid/solid interface: from patterns to function

Steven De Feyter
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven


Self-assembly - the spontaneous organization of molecules into stable, structurally well-defined aggregates - has been put forward as a possible paradigm for generating nanoscale templates under ambient conditions. A very convenient method for the formation of extended two-dimensional (2D) networks is physisorption at the liquid-solid interface. The preparation is relatively simple and scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) allows a detailed investigation of the structural aspects of the 2D patterns. A deep understanding and control of the spatial orientation and packing of molecules in self-assembled systems is indispensable for the development of future nanodevices.
In this talk, I will take you on a journey discussing different aspects of two-dimensional crystal engineering at (electrified) liquid-solid interfaces. Subsequently, a number of applications will be presented, ranging from reactivity to electronics at these interfaces.