We have used scanning tunneling microscopy to investigate the structure and photoswitching behavior of azobenzene molecules functionalized with bulky spacer groups and adsorbed onto Au(111). We find that positioning tert-butyl legs in a canted arrangement on the azobenzene phenyl rings quenches photoisomerizability of the molecule on Au(111). Addition of cyano groups at the para positions changes the molecular self-assembly significantly, but does not alter the quenched photoisomerizability. This behavior likely arises from a combination of molecule-surface interactions, molecule-molecule interactions, and alteration of azobenzene electronic structure resulting from the position-specific addition of tert-butyl groups.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry