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Self-Assembly of a Chiral Cubic Three-Connected Net from the High Symmetry Molecules C60 and SnI4

preprint
revised on 30.05.2020 and posted on 01.06.2020 by Daniel B. Straus, Robert J. Cava
The design of new chiral materials usually requires stereoselective organic synthesis to create molecules with chiral centers. Less commonly, achiral molecules can self-assemble into chiral materials, despite the absence of intrinsic molecular chirality. Here, we demonstrate the assembly of high-symmetry molecules into a chiral van der Waals structure by synthesizing crystals of C60(SnI4)2 from icosahedral buckminsterfullerene (C60) and tetrahedral SnI4 molecules through spontaneous self-assembly. The SnI4 tetrahedra template the Sn atoms into a chiral cubic three-connected net of the SrSi2 type that is held together by van der Waals forces. Our results represent the remarkable emergence of a self-assembled chiral material from two of the most highly symmetric molecules, demonstrating that almost any molecular, nanocrystalline, or engineered precursor can be considered when designing chiral assemblies.

Funding

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation GBMF-4412

History

Email Address of Submitting Author

dstraus@princeton.edu

Institution

Princeton University

Country

United States

ORCID For Submitting Author

0000-0003-2977-5590

Declaration of Conflict of Interest

No conflict of interest

Exports