Saddles as rotational locks within shape-assisted self-assembled nanosheets


Two-dimensional (2D) materials are a key target for many applications in the modern day. Self-assembly is one approach that can bring us closer to this goal, which usually relies upon strong, directional interactions instead of covalent bonds. Control over less directional forces is more challenging and usually does not result in as well-defined materials. Explicitly incorporating topography into the design as a guiding effect to enhance the interacting forces can help to form highly ordered structures. Herein, we show the process of shape-assisted self-assembly to be consistent across a range of derivatives that highlights the restriction of rotational motion. A shape governed angle distribution nurtures monomers into loose columns that then arrange to form 2D structures with long-range order observed in both crystalline and soft materials. These features strengthen the idea that shape becomes an important design principle leading towards precise molecular self-assembly and the inception of new materials.


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