STM visualisation of counterions and the effect of charges on self-assembled monolayers of macrocycles

Tibor Kudernac, Natalia Shabelina, Wael Mamdouh, Sigurd Höger*, Steven De Feyter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
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Despite their importance in self-assembly processes, the influence of charged counterions on the geometry of self-assembled organic monolayers and their direct localisation within the monolayers has been given little attention. Recently, various examples of self-assembled monolayers composed of charged molecules on surfaces have been reported, but no effort has been made to prove the presence of counterions within the monolayer. Here we show that visualisation and exact localisation of counterions within self-assembled monolayers can be achieved with scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM). The presence of charges on the studied shape-persistent macrocycles is shown to have a profound effect on the self-assembly process at the liquid–solid interface. Furthermore, preferential adsorption was observed for the uncharged analogue of the macrocycle on a surface.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)674-680
JournalBeilstein journal of nanotechnology
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Macrocycles
  • Counterions
  • Liquid–solid interface
  • Scanning tunnelling microscopy
  • Self-Assembly

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