Characterizing aliphatic moieties in hydrocarbons with atomic force microscopy

Bruno Schuler, Yunlong Zhang, Sara Collazos, Shadi Fatayer, Gerhard Meyer, Dolores Pérez, Enrique Guitián, Michael R. Harper, J. Douglas Kushnerick, Diego Peña, Leo Gross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


We designed and studied hydrocarbon model compounds by high-resolution noncontact atomic force microscopy. In addition to planar polycyclic aromatic moieties, these novel model compounds feature linear alkyl and cycloaliphatic motifs that exist in most hydrocarbon resources - particularly in petroleum asphaltenes and other petroleum fractions - or in lipids in biological samples. We demonstrate successful intact deposition by sublimation of the alkyl-aromatics, and differentiate aliphatic moieties from their aromatic counterparts which were generated from the former by atomic manipulation. The characterization by AFM in combination with atomic manipulation provides clear fingerprints of the aromatic and aliphatic moieties that will facilitate their assignment in a priori unknown samples.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2315-2320
Number of pages6
JournalChemical Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Generated from Scopus record by KAUST IRTS on 2022-09-13

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry


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