Recent single molecule experiments rely on the self-assembly of binary mixtures of molecules with very different properties in a stable monolayer, in order to probe the characteristics of the interspersed molecule of interest in a controlled environment. However, not all efforts at coassembly have been successful. To study systematically the behavior of such systems, we derive the free energy of multicomponent systems of rods with configurational degrees of freedom, localized on a surface, starting from a generalized van der Waals description. The molecular parameters are determined by geometrical factors of the molecules and by their pairwise van der Waals interactions computed using molecular mechanics. Applying the model to two experimental situations, we are able to use the stability analysis of the respective mixtures to explain why coassembly was successful in one set of experiments (carotene and alkanethiol) and not in another (benzenethiols and alkanethiol). We outline general guidelines for suitable choices of molecules to achieve coassembly.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry