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Tessellation is a repeating pattern made of one or more shapes, without the formation of gaps or overlaps. An example is the periodic arrangement of hexagonal cells found in honeycombs. Tessellation can also be found at the molecular level, where single molecule units act as a tile (repeating pattern) to tessellate a surface through spontaneous and reversible interactions between them. It is challenging to build complex molecular tessellation involving more than one type of tile. Most research studies in the past decade have focused on tessellation using a specific tile type.
A research team led by Prof Loh Kian Ping from the Department of Chemistry, NUS has demonstrated that highly complex periodic tessellation can be constructed from the tiling of two molecular phases that possess the same geometric symmetry but different packing densities. The two molecular phases, a high-density phase and a low-density phase, arise from the different intermolecular and molecule-substrate...
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