Highly Adaptable Two-Dimensional Metal-Organic Coordination Networks on Metal Surfaces
The formation of extended two-dimensional metal organic coordination networks (2D-MOCNs) showing high adaptability to surface step edges and structural defects is revealed by scanning tunneling microscopy. Rod-like 4,4'-di-(1,4-buta-1,3-diynyl)-benzoic acid (BDBA) and iron atoms assemble into extended 2D-MOCNs on Au(111) and Ag(100) surfaces. Independent from the chosen substrate and its surface symmetry the MOCN grows continuously over multiple surface terraces through mutual in-phase structure adaptation of network domains at step edges as well as on terraces. The adaptability of the MOCNs is mainly ascribed to the high degree of conformational flexibility of the butadiynyl functionality of the ligand. Despite their flexibility, the MOCNs exhibit considerable robustness against annealing at high temperatures. The findings show that mesoscale self-assembled functional architectures with a high degree of substrate error tolerance can be realized with metal coordination networks.