Epitaxial Electrodeposition of Chiral Metal Surfaces on Silicon(643)


Surfaces of achiral materials exhibit two-dimensional chirality if they lack mirror symmetry. An example is the (643) surface of face-centered-cubic metals such as Au. The (643) and (643) surfaces are non-superimposable mirror images of each other. Chiral surfaces offer the possibility of serving as heterogeneous catalysts for chiral synthesis or providing a platform for chiral separation or crystallization. Here, we show the symmetry requirements for surface chirality, and we demonstrate that chiral surfaces can be produced by electrochemically depositing epitaxial films of Au onto commercially available Si(643) wafers. Au(643) is deposited onto one side of the wafer, and its enantiomer Au(643) is deposited on the other side of the wafer. In addition to the (643) orientation, the (8 14 17) orientation of Au is produced on the Si(643) wafers. The (8 14 17) orientation has a similar kinked surface to the (643) surface, but it has staggered kinks. Other metal films including Pt, Ni, Cu, and Ag that are electrodeposited onto the Au films exhibit strong in-plane and out-of-plane order. Hence, the method provides a pathway for producing chiral surfaces of a wide range of materials, and it obviates the need to work with expensive single crystals. The Ag/Au/Si(643) surface showed a preference for the electrochemical oxidation of d-glucose, whereas the Ag/Au/Si(643) surface showed preference for the oxidation of l-glucose.



Keywords and Phrases

Chirality; Electrochemical oxidation; Electrodeposition; Electrodes; Glucose; Mirrors; Silicon wafers; Single crystals

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

0002-7863; 1520-5126

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2018 American Chemical Society (ACS), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Nov 2018