Hydrophilicity and Microsolvation of an Organic Molecule Resolved on the Sub-molecular Level by Scanning Tunneling Microscopy

Lucht, K. and Loose, D. and Ruschmeier, M. and Strotkötter, V. and Dyker, G. and Morgenstern, K.

Volume: 57 Pages: 1266-1270
DOI: 10.1002/anie.201711062
Published: 2018

Low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy was used to follow the formation of a solvation shell around an adsorbed functionalized azo dye from the attachment of the first water molecule to a fully solvated molecule. Specific functional groups bind initially one water molecule each, which act as anchor points for additional water molecules. Further water attachment occurs in areas close to these functional groups even when the functional groups themselves are already saturated. In contrast, water molecules surround the hydrophobic parts of the molecule only when the two-dimensional solvation shell closes around them. This study thus traces hydrophilic and hydrophobic properties of an organic molecule down to a sub-molecular length scale. © 2018 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

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