Tailoring Long-Range Superlattice Chirality in the Molecular Selfassemblies via Weak Fluorine-Mediated Interactions


Controllable fabrication of the enantiospecific molecular superlattices is a matter of imminent scientific and technological interest. Herein, we demonstrate that long-range superlattice chirality in molecular self-assemblies can be tailored by tuning the interplay of weak intermolecular non-covalent interactions. Different chiral recognition patterns are achieved in the two molecular self-assemblies comprised by two molecular enantiomers with identical steric conformations, derived from the hexaphenylbenzene – the smallest star-shaped polyphenylene. By means of high-resolution scanning tunneling microscopy measurements, we demonstrate that functionalization of star-shaped polyphenylene with fluorine (F) atoms leads to the formation of molecular self-assemblies with the distinct long-range chiral recognition patterns. We employed the density functional theory calculations to quantify F-mediated lone pair F ···π, C-H··· F, F···F interactions attributed to the tunable enantiospecific molecular self-organizations. Our findings underpin a viable route to tailor long-range chiral recognition patterns in supramolecular assemblies by engineering the weak non-covalent intermolecular interactions.