Theoretical Studies of Chiral Self-Assembly




Popa, Tatiana

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Chiral structure formation is ubiquitous in surface self-assembly. Molecules that do not undergo chiral recognition in solution or fluid phases can do so when their configurational freedom is restricted in the two-dimensional field of a substrate. The process holds promise in the manufacture of functional materials for chiral catalysis, sensing or nonlinear optics. In this thesis, we investigate the influence of surface attraction and geometry on adsorption-induced chiral separation in several model molecules, as well as the relationships between molecular features, specifically molecular geometry and charge distribution, and chiral recognition at surface self-assembly. Simple model molecules embody the fundamental interactions involved in supramolecular structure formation in experimental systems, and allow the in-depth investigation of key parameters. Chiral pattern formation at the surface self-assembly is a complex problem, even in cases where very small organic molecules are considered. Even though the adsorption behaviour of small organic molecules on gold surfaces has been investigated extensively so far experimentally and theoretically, much of their chiral behaviour is yet to be understood at a molecular level. Theoretical investigations of chiral self-assembly of sulfur containing amino acids onto achiral and chiral gold surfaces is also presented in this thesis. By understanding chiral self-assembly on solid surfaces, one may control and direct it towards creating materials with desired functionality.



Chirality, Surface Self-Assembly, Naturally Chiral Surface, Cysteine