Competing Interactions in the Self-Assembly of NC-Ph-3-CN Molecules on Cu(111)
We report on low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy measurements on NC-Ph-3-CN molecules adsorbed at 300 K on a Cu(111) surface. Upon cooling, the molecules form chain and honeycomb structures, incorporating Cu adatoms supplied by the substrate as metal linkers. In these assemblies, the molecules align along two main directions, with a relative abundance that depends on the coordination number and on the bond length. We show spectroscopic data about the unoccupied molecular orbitals and investigate the patterns obtained by depositing different amounts of molecules. Comparison of these results with the ones obtained for NC-Ph-5-CN molecules on the same substrate enables us to establish a hierarchy of the different interaction forces at work in the system.