The self-assembly of multi-component monolayers with designed patterns requires molecular recognition among components. Dipolar interactions have been found to influence morphologies of self-assembled monolayers and can affect molecular recognition functions. Ketone groups have large dipole moments (2.6 D) and are easily incorporated into molecules. The potential of ketone groups for dipolar patterning has been evaluated through synthesis of two 1,5-disubstituted anthracenes bearing mono-ketone side chains, STM characterization of monolayers self-assembled from their single and two component solutions and molecular mechanics simulations to determine their self-assembly energetics. The results reveal that (i) anthracenes bearing self-repulsive mono-ketone side chains assemble in an atypical monolayer morphology that establishes dipolar attraction, instead of repulsion, between ketones in adjacent side chains; (ii) pairs of anthracene molecules whose self-repulsive ketone side chains are dipolar complementary spontaneously assemble compositionally patterned monolayers, in which the two components segregate into neighboring, single component columns, driven by side chain dipolar interactions; (iii) compositionally patterned monolayers also assemble from dipolar complementary anthracene pairs that employ different dipolar groups (ketones or CF2 groups) in their side chains; (iv) the ketone group, with its larger dipole moment and size, provides comparable driving force for patterned monolayer formation to that of the smaller dipole, and smaller size, CF2 group.
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