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© 2016 Jayne C. Garno, et al. Porphyrins and metalloporphyrins have unique chemical and electronic properties and thus provide useful model structures for studies of nanoscale electronic properties. The rigid planar structures and π-conjugated backbones of porphyrins convey robust electrical characteristics. For our investigations, cobaltacarborane porphyrins were synthesized using a ring-opening zwitterionic reaction to produce isomers with selected arrangements of carborane clusters on each macrocycle. Experiments were designed to investigate how the molecular structure influences the selforganization, surface assembly, and conductive properties of three molecular structures with 2, 4, or 8 cobaltacarborane substituents. Current versus voltage (I-V) spectra for designed cobaltacarborane porphyrins deposited on conductive gold substrates were acquired using conductive probe atomic force microscopy (CP-AFM). Characterizations with CP-AFM provide capabilities for obtaining physical measurements and structural information with unprecedented sensitivity. We found that the morphology of cobaltacarborane porphyrin structures formed on surfaces depends on a complex interplay of factors such as the solvent used for dissolution, the nature of the substrate, and the design of the parent molecule. The conductive properties of cobaltacarborane porphyrins were observed to change according to the arrangement of cobaltacarborane substituents. Specifically, the number and placement of the cobaltacarborane ligands on the porphyrin macrocycle affect the interactions that drive porphyrin self-assembly and crystallization. Interestingly, coulombic staircase I-V profiles were detected for a porphyrin with two cobaltacarborane substituents.

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AIMS Materials Science

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