Stirring competes with chemical induction in chiral selection of Langmuir monolayer domains
Departament de Química Física and Institut de Nanociència i Nanotecnologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Catalonia 08028, Spain
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Chirality, the absence of mirror symmetry, can be equally invoked in relation to physical forces and chemical induction processes, yet a competition between these two types of influences is rarely reported. Here, we employ Langmuir monolayers of azobenzene surfactants as a prototypical self-assembled two-dimensional system in which chiral selection is controlled by the combined independent action of a chiral dopant and vortical stirring. The two effects can be arbitrarily coupled, either constructively or destructively, leading to a situation of perfect compensation. The induced enantiomorphic excess is measured in terms of the statistical imbalance of an ensemble of sub-millimeter monolayer domains, where achiral molecules self-assemble with a well-defined orientational chirality, which is unambiguously resolved using Brewster angle microscopy.
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