Four generations of monodendrons with multiple dodecyl alkyl tails (AA-N, N representing number of alkyl tails from 1 to 8), an azobenzene spacer group, and a carboxylic acid polar head have been studied at the air-water and air-solid interface using AFM, GIXD, X-ray reflectivity, and UV - vis spectrometry. The one and two tail molecules formed orthorhombic lateral packing with long-range intramonolayer ordering. Good agreement between molecular models and thickness measurements indicated that the one and two tail molecules orient along the surface normal. The increase in the cross-sectional mismatch caused by the presence of the multiple chains for the higher generations disrupted the long-range ordering and forced the alkyl tails to adopt quasi-hexagonal structure. The higher generations (AA-4 and AA-8) formed a kinked structure with the alkyl tails oriented perpendicular to the surface with the azobenzene group tilted at a large degree toward the surface. The photoisomerization behavior in dilute solutions, at the air-water interface, and for grafted layers demonstrated that lower generation monodendrons maintained the photochromic behavior after chemical grafting to the silicon substrates, although the confinement of the molecules in monolayers significantly increased the reorganization time.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry