Self-organized and Cu-coordinated surface linear polymerization

Qing Li, Jonathan R. Owens, Chengbo Han, Bobby G. Sumpter, Wenchang Lu, Jerzy Bernholc, V. Meunier, Peter Maksymovych, Miguel Fuentes-Cabrera, Minghu Pan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


We demonstrate a controllable surface-coordinated linear polymerization of long-chain poly(phenylacetylenyl)s that are self-organized into a "circuit-board" pattern on a Cu(100) surface. Scanning tunneling microscopy/spectroscopy (STM/S) corroborated by ab initio calculations, reveals the atomistic details of the molecular structure, and provides a clear signature of electronic and vibrational properties of the poly(phenylacetylene)s chains. Notably, the polymerization reaction is confined epitaxially to the copper lattice, despite a large strain along the polymerized chain that subsequently renders it metallic. Polymerization and depolymerization reactions can be controlled locally at the nanoscale by using a charged metal tip. This control demonstrates the possibility of precisely accessing and controlling conjugated chain-growth polymerization at low temperature. This finding may lead to the bottom-up design and realization of sophisticated architectures for molecular nano-devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2102
JournalScientific reports
StatePublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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