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Spontaneous local symmetry breaking: a conformational study of glycine on Cu{311}

Madden, D.C., Temprano, I., Sacchi, M. and Jenkins, S.J. (2015) Spontaneous local symmetry breaking: a conformational study of glycine on Cu{311}. Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 119 (23). pp. 13041-13049. ISSN 1932-7447

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.5b02349


Understanding the interplay between intrinsic molecular chirality and chirality of the bonding footprint is crucial in exploiting enantioselectivity at surfaces. As such, achiral glycine and chiral alanine are the most obvious candidates if one is to study this interplay on different surfaces. Here, we have investigated the adsorption of glycine on Cu{311} using reflection-absorption infrared spectroscopy, low-energy electron diffraction, temperature-programmed desorption and first-principles density-functional theory. This combination of techniques has allowed us to accurately identify the molecular conformations present under different conditions, and discuss the overlayer structure in the context of the possible bonding footprints. We have observed coverage-dependent local symmetry breaking, with three-point bonded glycinate moieties forming an achiral arrangement at low coverages, and chirality developing with the presence of two-point bonded moieties at high coverages. Comparison with previous work on the self-assembly of simple amino acids on Cu{311} and the structurally-similar Cu{110} surface has allowed us to rationalise the different conditions necessary for the formation of ordered chiral overlayers.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Chemical Analysis Facility (CAF)
Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > Department of Chemistry
ID Code:40249
Publisher:American Chemical Society


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