In situ formation of H-bonding imidazole chains in break-junction experiments

Wu, Chuanli, Alqahtani, Aminah, Sangtarash, Sara, Vezzoli, Andrea ORCID: 0000-0002-8059-0113, Sadeghi, Hatef, Robertson, Craig M ORCID: 0000-0002-4789-7607, Cai, Chenxin, Lambert, Colin J, Higgins, Simon J ORCID: 0000-0003-3518-9061 and Nichols, Richard J ORCID: 0000-0002-1446-8275
(2020) In situ formation of H-bonding imidazole chains in break-junction experiments. Nanoscale, 2020 (14). 7914 - 7920.

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As a small molecule possessing both strong H-bond donor and acceptor functions, 1H-imidazole can participate in extensive homo- or heteromolecular H-bonding networks. These properties are important in Nature, as imidazole moieties are incorporated in many biologically-relevant compounds. Imidazole also finds applications ranging from corrosion inhibition to fire retardants and photography. We have found a peculiar behaviour of imidazole during scanning tunnelling microscopy-break junction (STM-BJ) experiments, in which oligomeric chains connect the two electrodes and allow efficient charge transport. We attributed this behaviour to the formation of hydrogen-bonding networks, as no evidence of such behaviour was found in 1-methylimidazole (incapable of participating in intramolecular hydrogen bonding). The results are supported by DFT calculations, which confirmed our hypothesis. These findings pave the road to the use of hydrogen-bonding networks for the fabrication of dynamic junctions based on supramolecular interactions.

Item Type: Article
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2020 11:00
Last Modified: 05 Aug 2022 17:11
DOI: 10.1039/d0nr00630k
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