- BNLMS, College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, Peking University, Beijing, 100871, China.
- Danish-Chinese Centre for Self–Assembly and Function of Molecular Nanostructures on Surfaces at iNANO and Department of Chemistry, Aarhus University, Aarhus C, 8000, Denmark.
- School of Materials Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, 47907, USA.
- Department of Chemical Physics, School of Chemistry and Materials Science, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, 230026, China.
4,4′-Bis(2,6-difluoropyridin-4-yl)-1,1′:4′,1”-terphenyl (BDFPTP) molecules underwent dehydrocyclization and covalent coupling reactions on Au(111) according to scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) measurements and density functional theory (DFT) calculations. Self–assembly of the reactants in well-defined molecular domains prior to reaction could greatly enhance the regioselectivity of the dehydrocyclization reaction and suppress defluorinated coupling, demonstrating that self–assembly can efficiently steer on-surface reactions. Such a strategy could be of great importance in surface chemistry and widely applied to control on-surface reactions.