ABSTRACT: A detailed study on the time-dependent organization of a decanethiol self-assembled monolayer (SAM) at a designed solution concentration onto a Au(111) surface has been performed with scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). The SAMs were prepared by immersing Au(111) into an ethanol solution containing 1 microM decanethiol with different immersion times. STM images revealed the formation process and adlayer structure of the SAMs. It was found that the molecules self-organized into adlayers from random separation to a well-defined structure. From 10 s, small domains with ordered molecular organization appeared, although random molecules could be observed on Au(111) at the very initial stage. At 30 s, the SAM consisted of uniform short stripes. Each stripe consisted of sets of decanethiol mainly containing eight molecules. With the immersion time increasing, the length of the stripes increased. At 5 min, the alkyl chains overlapped each other between the adjacent stripes, indicating the start of a stacked process. After immersing Au(111) in decanethiol solution for 3 days, a densely packed adlayer with a (radical 3 x radical 3)R30 degrees structure was observed. The formation process and structure of decanethiol SAMs are well related to sample preparation conditions. The wettability of the decanethiolate SAM-modified Au(111) surface was also investigated.
The Journal of Physical Chemistry B 03/2006; 110(4):1794-9. · 3.70 Impact Factor