Selection of conformational states in surface self-assembly for a molecule with eight possible pairs of surface enantiomers
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Self-assembly of a molecule with many distinct conformational states, resulting in eight possible pairs of surface enantiomers, is investigated on a Au(111) surface under UHV conditions. The complex molecule is equipped with alkyl and carboxyl moieties to promote controlled self-assembly of lamellae structures. From statistical analysis of Scanning Tunnelling Microscopy (STM) data we observe a clear selection of specific conformational states after self-assembly. Using Density Functional Theory (DFT) calculations we rationalise how this selection is correlated to the orientation of the alkyl moieties in mirror-image domains of the lamellae structures, leading to selection of three out of the eight possible enantiomeric pairs.