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Mapping the force field of a hydrogen-bonded assembly

Sweetman, Adam; Jarvis, Samuel Paul; Sang, Hongqian; Lekkas, Ioannis; Rahe, Philipp; Wang, Yu; Wang, Jianbo; Champness, Neil R.; Kantorovich, Lev; Moriarty, Philip

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Adam Sweetman

Samuel Paul Jarvis

Hongqian Sang

Ioannis Lekkas

Philipp Rahe

Yu Wang

Jianbo Wang

Neil R. Champness

Lev Kantorovich


Hydrogen bonding underpins the properties of a vast array of systems spanning a wide variety of scientific fields. From the elegance of base pair interactions in DNA to the symmetry of extended supramolecular assemblies, hydrogen bonds play an essential role in directing intermolecular forces. Yet fundamental aspects of the hydrogen bond continue to be vigorously debated. Here we use dynamic force microscopy (DFM) to quantitatively map the tip-sample force field for naphthalene tetracarboxylic diimide molecules hydrogen-bonded in two-dimensional assemblies. A comparison of experimental images and force spectra with their simulated counterparts shows that intermolecular contrast arises from repulsive tip-sample interactions whose interpretation can be aided via an examination of charge density depletion across the molecular system. Interpreting DFM images of hydrogen-bonded systems therefore necessitates detailed consideration of the coupled tip-molecule system: analyses based on intermolecular charge density in the absence of the tip fail to capture the essential physical chemistry underpinning the imaging mechanism. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 22, 2014
Online Publication Date May 30, 2014
Publication Date May 30, 2020
Deposit Date Feb 15, 2016
Publicly Available Date Feb 15, 2016
Journal Nature Communications
Electronic ISSN 2041-1723
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 5
Article Number 3931
Public URL
Publisher URL
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