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1.  Multi-technique Characterization of Self-assembled Carboxylic Acid Terminated Alkanethiol Monolayers on Nanoparticle and Flat Gold Surfaces 
Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) with 14, 25 and 40nm diameters were functionalized with different chain length (C6, C8, C11 and C16) carboxylic acid terminated alkanethiol self-assembled monolayers (COOH-SAMs). X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) were used to examine the changes in surface chemistry as both AuNP diameter and SAM chain length were varied. COOH-SAMs on flat gold surfaces were also examined and compared to the COOH-SAM on AuNP results. For a given surface, as the COOH-SAM chain length increased the XPS C/Au atomic ratio increased due to an increased number of carbon atoms per molecule in the overlayer and an increased attenuation of the Au substrate signal. For the C16 COOH-SAMs, as the size of AuNPs decreased the XPS C/Au atomic ratio and the apparent SAM thickness increased due to the increased curvature of the smaller AuNPs. The C16 COOH-SAMs on the flat Au had the lowest XPS C/Au atomic ratio and apparent SAM thickness of any C16 COOH-SAM covered Au surface. The effective take-off angles of the COOH-SAMs were also calculated by comparing the apparent thickness of COOH-SAMs with literature values. The effective take-off angle for C16 COOH-SAM on 14nm, 25nm and 40nm diameter AuNPs and flat Au were found to be 57°, 53°, 51° and 39°, respectively, for data acquired in a mode that collects a wide range of photoelectron take-off angles. The effective take-off angle for C16 COOH-SAM on 14nm AuNP and flat Au decreased to 52° and 0°, respectively, for data acquired in a mode that collects a narrow range of photoelectron take-off angles. The ToF-SIMS results showed similar changes in surface chemistry with COOH-SAM chain length and AuNP size. For example, the ratio of the sum of the C1–4HxOy positive ion intensities to the sum of the Au-containing positive ions intensities increased with decreasing AuNP size and increasing COOH-SAM chain length. Fourier transform IR spectroscopy in the attenuated total reflectance mode (FTIR-ATR) was used to characterize the crystallinity of the COOH-SAMs. The CH2 stretching frequencies decreased with increasing COOH-SAM chain length on flat Au. The C16 COOH-SAM on the 14nm AuNPs exhibited a crystalline-like CH2 stretching frequency. The size, size distribution, shapes and solution stability of AuNPs were investigated with transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and UV/VIS spectroscopy. As the average diameter of the AuNPs decreased the size distribution became narrower and the shape became more spherical.
PMCID: PMC3096993  PMID: 21603069
2.  Tripodal Binding Units for Self-Assembled Monolayers on Gold: A Comparison of Thiol and Thioether Headgroups 
Whereas thiols and thioethers are frequently used as binding units of oligodentate precursor molecules to fabricate self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) on coinage metal and semiconductor surfaces, their use for tridentate bonding configuration is still questionable. Against this background, novel tridentate thiol ligands, PhSi(CH2SH)3 (PTT) and p-Ph-C6H4Si(CH2SH)3 (BPTT), were synthesized and used as tripodal adsorbate molecules for the fabrication of SAMs on Au(111). These SAMs were characterized by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and near edge X-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS) spectroscopy. The PTT and BPTT films were compared with the analogous systems comprised of same tripodal ligands with thioether instead of thiol binding units (anchors). XPS and NEXAFS data suggest that the binding uniformity, packing density, and molecular alignment of the thiol-based ligands in the respective SAMs is superior to their thioether counterparts. In addition, the thiol-based films showed significantly lower levels of contamination. Significantly, the quality of the PTT SAMs on Au(111) was found to be even higher than that of the films formed from the respective monodentate counterpart, benzenethiol. The results obtained allow for making some general conclusions on the specific character of molecular self-assembly in the case of tridentate ligands.
PMCID: PMC3102536  PMID: 21625327
3.  Amine Terminated SAMs: Investigating Why Oxygen is Present in these Films 
Self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) on gold prepared from amine-terminated alkanethiols have long been employed as model positively charged surfaces. Yet in previous studies significant amounts of unexpected oxygen containing species are always detected in amine terminated SAMs. Thus, the goal of this investigation was to determine the source of these oxygen species and minimize their presence in the SAM. The surface composition, structure, and order of amine-terminated SAMs on Au were characterized by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectroscopy (ToF-SIMS), sum frequency generation (SFG) and near edge X-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS) spectroscopy. XPS determined compositions of amine-terminated SAMs in the current study exhibited oxygen concentrations of 2.4 ± 0.4 atomic %, a substantially lower amount of oxygen than reported in previously published studies. High-resolution XPS results from the S2p, C1s and N1s regions did not detect any oxidized species. Angle-resolved XPS indicated that the small amount of oxygen detected was located at or near the amine head group. Small amounts of oxidized nitrogen, carbon and sulfur secondary ions, as well as ions attributed to water, were detected in the ToF-SIMS data due to the higher sensitivity of ToF-SIMS. The lack of N-O, S-O, and C-O stretches in the SFG spectra are consistent with the XPS and ToF-SIMS results and together show that oxidation of the amine-terminated thiols alone can only account for, at most, a small fraction of the oxygen detected by XPS. Both the SFG and angle-dependent NEXAFS indicated the presence of gauche defects in the amine SAMs. However, the SFG spectral features near 2865 cm−1, assigned to the stretch of the methylene group next to the terminal amine unit, demonstrate the SAM is reasonably ordered. The SFG results also show another broad feature near 3200 cm−1 related to hydrogen-bonded water. From this multi-technique investigation it is clear that the majority of the oxygen detected within these amine-terminated SAMs arises from the presence of oxygen containing adsorbates such as tightly bound water.
PMCID: PMC2776750  PMID: 20161353
4.  Role of SAM Chain Length in Enhancing the Sensitivity of Nanopillar Modified Electrodes for Glucose Detection 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2009;9(3):1295-1305.
In this report, alkanethiol self assembled monolayers (SAM) with two different chain lengths were used to immobilize the functionalizing enzyme (glucose oxidase) onto gold nanopillar modified electrodes and the electrochemical processes of these functionalized electrodes in glucose detection were investigated. First, the formation of these SAMs on the nanopillar modified electrodes was characterized by the cyclic voltammetry and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy techniques, and then the detection sensitivity of these functionalized electrodes to glucose was evaluated by the amperometry technique. Results showed that the SAM of alkanethiols with a longer chain length resulted in a higher degree of surface coverage with less defect and a higher electron transfer resistance, whereas the SAM of alkanethiols with a shorter chain length gave rise to a higher detection sensitivity to glucose. This study sheds some new insight into how to enhance the sensing performance of nanopillar modified electrodes.
PMCID: PMC3345854  PMID: 22573954
Gold nanopillar modified electrodes; self assembled monolayer; alkanethiols; electrochemical processes; glucose detection; biosensors
5.  XPS, ToF-SIMS, NEXAFS and SPR Characterization of Nitrilotriacetic Acid-Terminated Self-Assembled Monolayers for Controllable Immobilization of Proteins 
Analytical chemistry  2008;80(7):2564-2573.
For immobilization of proteins onto surfaces in a specific and controlled manner it is important to start with a well-defined surface that contains specific binding sites surrounded by a nonfouling background. For immobilizing histidine-tagged (his-tagged) proteins, surfaces containing nitrilotriacetic acid (NTA) headgroups and oligo(ethylene glycol) (OEG) moieties are a widely used model system. The surface composition, structure and reactivity of mixed NTA/OEG self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) on Au substrates were characterized in detail using x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), near-edge x-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy (NEXAFS), time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) and surface plasmon resonance (SPR) biosensoring. XPS results for sequential adsorption of NTA thiols followed by OEG thiols showed that OEG molecules were incorporated into an incompletely formed NTA monolayer until a complete mixed SAM was formed. The surface concentration of NTA headgroups was estimated to be 0.9–1.3 molecule/nm2 in the mixed NTA/OEG monolayers, compared to 1.9 molecule/nm2 in pure NTA monolayers. Angle-dependent XPS indicated NTA headgroups were slightly reoriented toward an upright position after OEG incorporation and polarization-dependent NEXAFS results indicated increased ordering of the alkane chains of the molecules. Nitrogen-containing and OEG-related secondary ion fragments from the ToF-SIMS experiments confirmed the presence of NTA headgroups and OEG moieties in the monolayers. A multivariate peak intensity ratio was developed for estimating the relative NTA concentration in the outermost (10 Ǻ) of the monolayers. SPR measurements of a his-tagged, humanized anti-lysozyme variable fragment (HuLys Fv) immobilized onto Ni(II)-treated mixed NTA/OEG and pure NTA monolayers demonstrated the reversible, site-specific immobilization of his-tagged HuLys Fv (108 – 205 ng/cm2) with dissociation rates (koff) between 1.0x10−4 and 2.1x10−5 s−1, both depending on the NTA surface concentration and orientation. The monolayers without Ni(II) treatment exhibited low nonspecific adsorption of his-tagged HuLys Fv ( < 2ng/cm2).
PMCID: PMC3781950  PMID: 18302347
6.  Self-assembled monolayer of designed and synthesized triazinedithiolsilane molecule as interfacial adhesion enhancer for integrated circuit 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2011;6(1):483.
Self-assembled monolayer (SAM) with tunable surface chemistry and smooth surface provides an approach to adhesion improvement and suppressing deleterious chemical interactions. Here, we demonstrate the SAM comprising of designed and synthesized 6-(3-triethoxysilylpropyl)amino-1,3,5-triazine-2,4-dithiol molecule, which can enhance interfacial adhesion to inhibit copper diffusion used in device metallization. The formation of the triazinedithiolsilane SAM is confirmed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The adhesion strength between SAM-coated substrate and electroless deposition copper film was up to 13.8 MPa. The design strategy of triazinedithiolsilane molecule is expected to open up the possibilities for replacing traditional organosilane to be applied in microelectronic industry.
PMCID: PMC3211997  PMID: 21812994
adhesion; copper; diffusion barrier; self-assembled monolayer; surface chemistry
7.  Bacterial adhesion to hydroxyl- and methyl-terminated alkanethiol self-assembled monolayers. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1995;177(8):1959-1966.
The attachment of bacteria to solid surfaces is influenced by substratum chemistry, but to determine the mechanistic basis of this relationship, homogeneous, well-defined substrata are required. Self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) were constructed from alkanethiols to produce a range of substrata with different exposed functional groups, i.e., methyl and hydroxyl groups and a series of mixtures of the two. Percentages of hydroxyl groups in the SAMs and substratum wettability were measured by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and contact angles of water and hexadecane, respectively. SAMs exhibited various substratum compositions and wettabilities, ranging from hydrophilic, hydroxyl-terminated monolayers to hydrophobic, methyl-terminated monolayers. The kinetics of attachment of an estuarine bacterium to these surfaces in a laminar flow chamber were measured over periods of 120 min. The initial rate of net adhesion, the number of cells attached after 120 min, the percentage of attached cells that adsorbed or desorbed between successive measurements, and the residence times of attached cells were quantified by phase-contrast microscopy and digital image processing. The greatest numbers of attached cells occurred on hydrophobic surfaces, because (i) the initial rates of adhesion and the mean numbers of cells that attached after 120 min increased with the methyl content of the SAM and the contact angle of water and (ii) the percentage of cells that desorbed between successive measurements (ca. 2 min) decreased with increasing substratum hydrophobicity. With all surfaces, 60 to 80% of the cells that desorbed during the 120-min exposure period had residence times of less than 10 min, suggesting that establishment of firm adhesion occurred quickly on all of the test surfaces.
PMCID: PMC176836  PMID: 7721687
8.  Use of Self-Assembled Monolayers of Different Wettabilities To Study Surface Selection and Primary Adhesion Processes of Green Algal (Enteromorpha) Zoospores 
We investigated surface selection and adhesion of motile zoospores of a green, macrofouling alga (Enteromorpha) to self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) having a range of wettabilities. The SAMs were formed from alkyl thiols terminated with methyl (CH3) or hydroxyl (OH) groups or mixtures of CH3- and OH-terminated alkyl thiols and were characterized by measuring the advancing contact angles and by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. There was a positive correlation between the number of spores that attached to the SAMs and increasing contact angle (hydrophobicity). Moreover, the sizes of the spore groups (adjacent spores touching) were larger on the hydrophobic SAMs. Video microscopy of a patterned arrangement of SAMs showed that more zoospores were engaged in swimming and “searching” above the hydrophobic sectors than above the hydrophilic sectors, suggesting that the cells were able to “sense” that the hydrophobic surfaces were more favorable for settlement. The results are discussed in relation to the attachment of microorganisms to substrata having different wettabilities.
PMCID: PMC92141  PMID: 10919777
9.  XPS and ToF-SIMS Investigation of α-Helical and β-Strand Peptide Adsorption onto SAMs 
14-mer α-helix and a 15-mer β-strand oligopeptides composed of leucine (L) and lysine (K) were used to investigate peptide adsorption and orientation onto well-defined methyl and carboxylic acid terminated self-assembled monolayer (SAM) surfaces with X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS). XPS showed both peptides reached monolayer thickness on both SAMs, but significantly higher solution concentrations were required to reach this coverage on the methyl SAMs. This shows that the peptides adsorb more strongly onto the carboxyl-terminated SAMs. The excess oxygen detected by XPS and the H3O+ signal detected by ToF-SIMS for the SAMs with adsorbed peptides indicated that water molecules are associated with the adsorbed peptides, even under ultra-high vacuum conditions. Changes in the amount of L and K fragments detected by ToF-SIMS indicate the β-strand oriented differently on the two SAMs. The L side-chains were preferentially associated with the methyl-terminated SAM and the K side-chains were preferentially associated with the carboxyl SAM. In contrast, little change in the ToF-SIMS K/L ratio was observed for the α-helix peptide absorbed on the two SAMs, indicating ToF-SIMS was not as sensitive to orientation of the α-helix peptide.
PMCID: PMC2827643  PMID: 19891457
10.  Salt-Mediated Self Assembly of Thioctic Acid on Gold Nanoparticles 
ACS nano  2011;5(6):4570-4580.
Self-assembled monolayer (SAM) modification is a widely used method to improve the functionality and stability of bulk and nanoscale materials. For instance, the chemical compatibility and utility of solution-phase nanoparticles are often improved using covalently bound SAMs. Herein, solution-phase gold nanoparticles are modified with thioctic acid SAMs in the presence and absence of salt. Molecular packing density on the nanoparticle surfaces is estimated using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and increases by ~20% when molecular self-assembly occurs in the presence vs. the absence of salt. We hypothesize that as the ionic strength of the solution increases, pinhole and collapsed-site defects in the SAM are more easily accessible as the electrostatic interaction energy between adjacent molecules decreases thereby facilitating the subsequent assembly of additional thioctic acid molecules. Significantly, increased SAM packing densities increase the stability of functionalized gold nanoparticles by a factor of two relative to nanoparticles functionalized in the absence of salt. These results are expected to improve the reproducible functionalization of solution-phase nanomaterials for various applications.
PMCID: PMC3125453  PMID: 21524135
Gold nanoparticles; self-assembled monolayers; thioctic acid; nanoparticle stability
11.  Probing Orientation and Conformation of α-Helix and β-Strand Model Peptides on Self-Assembled Monolayers Using Sum Frequency Generation and NEXAFS Spectroscopies 
The structure and orientation of amphiphilic α-helix and β-strand model peptide films on self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) have been studied with sum frequency generation (SFG) vibrational spectroscopy and near edge X-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS) spectroscopy. The α-helix peptide is a 14-mer and the β-strand is a 15-mer of hydrophilic lysine and hydrophobic leucine residues with hydrophobic periodicities of 3.5 and 2, respectively. These periodicities result the leucine side chains located on one side of the peptides and the lysine side chains on the other side. The SAMs were prepared from assembly of either carboxylic acid or methyl terminated alkyl thiols onto gold surfaces. For SFG studies the deuterated analog of the methyl SAM was used. SFG vibrational spectra in the C-H region of air dried peptides films on both SAMs exhibit strong peaks near 2965 cm−1, 2940 cm−1 and 2875 cm−1 related to ordered leucine side chains. The orientation of the leucine side chains was determined from the phase of these features relative to the non-resonant gold background. The relative phase for both the α-helix and β-strand peptides showed that the leucine side chains were oriented away from the carboxylic acid SAM surface and oriented towards the methyl SAM surface. Amide I peaks observed near 1656 cm−1 for the α-helix peptide confirm that the secondary structure is preserved on both SAMs. A strong linear dichroism related to the amide π* orbital at 400.8 eV was observed in the nitrogen K-edge NEXAFS spectra for the adsorbed β-strand peptides, suggesting that the peptide backbones are oriented parallel to the SAM surface with the side-chains pointing towards or away from the interface. For the α-helix the dichroism of the amide π* is significantly weaker, probably due to the broad distribution of amide bond orientations in the α-helix secondary structure.
PMCID: PMC2922880  PMID: 20175575
12.  Selective Filling of Nanowells in Nanowell Arrays Fabricated Using Polystyrene Nanosphere Lithography with Cytochrome P450 Enzymes 
Nanotechnology  2012;23(38):385101.
This work describes an original and simple technique for protein immobilization into nanowells, fabricated using nanopatterned-array fabrication methods, while ensuring the protein retains the normal biological activity. Nanosphere-lithography was used to fabricate a nanowell array with nanowells that were 100 nm in diameter and a periodicity of 500 nm. The base of the nanowells was gold and the surrounding material was silicon dioxide. The different surface chemistries of these materials were used to attach two different self-assembled monolayers (SAM) with different affinities for the protein used here, cytochrome P450 (P450). The nanowell SAM, a methyl terminated thiol, had high affinity for the P450. The surrounding SAM, a polyethylene glycol silane, displayed very little affinity toward the P450 isozyme CYP2C9, as demonstrated by x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and surface plasmon resonance. The regularity of the nanopatterned array was examined by scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy. P450-mediated metabolism experiments of known substrates demonstrated that the nanowell bound P450 enzyme exceeded its normal activity, as compared to P450 solutions, when bound to the methyl terminated self-assembled monolayer. The nanopatterned array chips bearing P450 display long term stability and give reproducible results making them potentially useful for high throughput screening assays or as nanoelectrode arrays.
PMCID: PMC3465080  PMID: 22947619
Nanowell array; Self-assembled monolayer; cytochrome P450
13.  Surface assembly and nanofabrication of 1,1,1-tris(mercaptomethyl)heptadecane on Au(111) studied with time-lapse atomic force microscopy 
The solution self-assembly of multidentate organothiols onto Au(111) was studied in situ using scanning probe nanolithography and time-lapse atomic force microscopy (AFM). Self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) prepared from dilute solutions of multidentate thiols were found to assemble slowly, requiring more than six hours to generate films. A clean gold substrate was first imaged in ethanolic media using liquid AFM. Next, a 0.01 mM solution of multidentate thiol was injected into the liquid cell. As time progressed, molecular-level details of the surface changes at different time intervals were captured by successive AFM images. Scanning probe based nanofabrication was accomplished using protocols of nanografting and nanoshaving with n-alkanethiols and a tridentate molecule, 1,1,1-tris(mercaptomethyl)heptadecane (TMMH). Nanografted patterns of TMMH could be inscribed within n-alkanethiol SAMs; however, the molecular packing of the nanopatterns was less homogeneous compared to nanopatterns produced with monothiolates. The multidentate molecules have a more complex assembly pathway than monothiol counterparts, mediated by sequential steps of forming S–Au bonds to the substrate.
PMCID: PMC3896263  PMID: 24455459
liquid AFM; multidentate; nanografting; nanolithography; self-assembly
14.  Patterning discrete stem cell culture environments via localized SAM replacement 
Self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of alkanethiolates on gold have become an important tool for probing cell-material interactions. Emerging studies in stem cell biology are particularly reliant on well-defined model substrates, and rapid and highly controllable fabrication methods may be necessary to characterize the wide array of stem cell-material interactions. Therefore, this study describes a rapid method to create SAM cell culture substrates with multiple discrete regions of controlled peptide identity and density. The approach uses an NaBH4 solution to selectively remove regions of bio-inert, hydroxyl-terminated oligo(ethylene glycol) alkanethiolate SAM, then locally replace them with mixed SAMs of hydroxyl- and carboxylic acid-terminated oligo(ethylene glycol) alkanethiolates. The cell adhesion peptide Arg-Gly-Asp-Ser-Pro (RGDSP) was then covalently linked to carboxylic acid-terminated mixed SAM regions to create cell adhesive environments within a bio-inert background. SAM preparation and peptide immobilization were characterized using polarization modulation–infrared reflection-absorption spectroscopy (PMIRRAS), as well as assays to monitor conjugation of a fluorescently-labeled peptide. This “localized SAM replacement” method was achieved using an array of microchannels, which facilitated rapid and simple processing. Results indicate that immobilized RGDSP promoted spatially localized attachment of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) within specified regions, while maintaining a stable, bio-inert background in serum-containing cell culture conditions for up to 14 days. Cell attachment to patterned regions presenting a range of cell adhesion peptide densities demonstrated that peptide identity and density strongly influence hMSC spreading and focal adhesion density. These substrates contain discrete, well-defined microenvironments for stem cell culture, which could ultimately enable high-throughput screening for the effects of immobilized signals on stem cell phenotype.
PMCID: PMC2769026  PMID: 19856996
15.  Structure and Order of Phosphonic Acid-Based Self-Assembled Monolayers on Si(100) 
Organophosphonic acid self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) on oxide surfaces have recently seen increased use in electrical and biological sensor applications. The reliability and reproducibility of these sensors require good molecular organization in these SAMs. In this regard, packing, order and alignment in the SAMs is important, as it influences the electron transport measurements. In this study, we examine the order of hydroxyl- and methyl- terminated phosphonate films deposited onto silicon oxide surfaces by the tethering by aggregation and growth method using complementary, state-of-art surface characterization tools. Near edge x-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS) spectroscopy and in situ sum frequency generation (SFG) spectroscopy are used to study the order of the phosphonate SAMs in vacuum and under aqueous conditions, respectively. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and time of flight secondary ion mass spectrometry results show that these samples form chemically intact monolayer phosphonate films. NEXAFS and SFG spectroscopy showed that molecular order exists in the octadecylphosphonic acid and 11-hydroxyundecylphosphonic acid SAMs. The chain tilt angles in these SAMs were approximately 37° and 45°, respectively.
PMCID: PMC2939309  PMID: 20735054
Phosphonic acid; T-BAG method; NEXAFS; SFG; ToF-SIMS; XPS; surface analysis; order; SAM
16.  A SERS study of the molecular structure of alkanethiol monolayers on Ag nanocubes in the presence of aqueous glucose 
Chemical physics letters  2009;463(1-3):166-171.
We report progress towards the surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) characterization of self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) on uniform Ag nanocubes. This study quantifies changes in the SAMs induced by the presence of aqueous glucose. The SAMs were prepared from dodecanethiol and they were representative of highly ordered monolayers as indicated by SERS analysis. We examined the SAMs response to glucose and observed conformational changes in the alkanethiolate SAMs. Analysis of the trans and gauche bands as well as the C-H stretching modes of the SAMs suggest that the analyte-SAM interactions were superficial and there was no penetration for the glucose molecules into the monolayers.
PMCID: PMC2654624  PMID: 20160847
17.  Surface polyethylene glycol enhances substrate-mediated gene delivery by nonspecifically immobilized complexes 
Acta biomaterialia  2007;4(1):26-39.
Substrate-mediated gene delivery describes the immobilization of gene therapy vectors to a biomaterial, which enhances gene transfer by exposing adhered cells to elevated DNA concentrations within the local microenvironment. Surface chemistry has been shown to affect transfection by nonspecifically immobilized complexes using self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of alkanethiols on gold. In this report, SAMs were again used to provide a controlled surface to investigate whether the presence of oligo(ethylene glycol) (EG) groups in a SAM could affect complex morphology and enhance transfection. EG groups were included at percentages that did not affect cell adhesion. Nonspecific complex immobilization to SAMs containing combinations of EG- and carboxylic acid-terminated alkanethiols resulted in substantially greater transfection than surfaces containing no EG groups or SAMs composed of EG groups combined with other functional groups. Enhancement in transfection levels could not be attributed to complex binding densities or release profiles. Atomic force microscopy imaging of immobilized complexes revealed that EG groups within SAMs affected complex size and appearance and could indicate the ability of these surfaces to preserve complex morphology upon binding. The ability to control the morphology of the immobilized complexes and influence transfection levels through surface chemistry could be translated to scaffolds for gene delivery in tissue engineering and diagnostic applications.
PMCID: PMC2170460  PMID: 17920004
Gene delivery; Reverse transfection; Atomic force microscopy (AFM); Self-assembled monolayers
18.  Simulation and Modeling of Self-Assembled Monolayers of Carboxylic Acid Thiols on Flat and Nanoparticle Gold Surfaces 
Analytical chemistry  2011;83(17):6704-6712.
Quantitative analysis of the 16-mercaptohexadecanoic acid self-assembled monolayer (C16 COOH-SAM) layer thickness on gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) was performed using simulation of electron spectra for surface analysis (SESSA) software and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) experimental measurements. XPS measurements of C16 COOH SAMs on flat gold surfaces were made at 9 different photoelectron emission angles (5° to 85° in 10° increments), corrected using geometric weighting factors and then summed together to approximate spherical AuNPs. The SAM thickness and relative surface roughness (RSA) in SESSA were optimized to determine the best agreement between simulated and experimental surface composition. Based on the glancing-angle results, it was found that inclusion of a hydrocarbon contamination layer on top the C16 COOH-SAM was necessary to improve the agreement between the SESSA and XPS results. For the 16 COOH-SAMs on flat Au surfaces, using a SAM thickness of 1.1Å/CH2 group, an RSA of 1.05, and a 1.5Å CH2-contamination overlayer (total film thickness = 21.5Å) for the SESSA calculations provided the best agreement with the experimental XPS data. After applying the appropriate geometric corrections and summing the SESSA flat-surface compositions, the best fit results for the 16 COOH-SAM thickness and surface roughness on the AuNPs indicated a slightly thinner overlayer with parameters of 0.9Å/CH2 group in the SAM, a RSA of 1.06 RSA and a 1.5Å CH2-contamination overlayer (total film thickness = 18.5Å). The three angstrom difference in SAM thickness between the flat Au and AuNP surfaces suggests that the alkyl chains of the SAM are slightly more tilted or disordered on the AuNP surfaces.
PMCID: PMC3165144  PMID: 21744862
19.  Nanoscale clustering of carbohydrate thiols in mixed SAMs on gold 
Langmuir  2012;28(17):6950-6959.
Self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) bearing pendant carbohydrate functionality are frequently employed to tailor glycan-specific bioactivity onto gold substrates. The resulting glycoSAMs are valuable for interrogating glycan-mediated biological interactions via surface analytical techniques, microarrays, and label-free biosensors. GlycoSAM composition can be readily modified during assembly using mixed solutions containing thiolated species, including carbohydrates, oligo(ethylene glycol) (OEG) and other inert moieties. This intrinsic tunability of the self-assembled system is frequently used to optimize bioavailability and anti-biofouling properties of the resulting SAM. However, until now, our nanoscale understanding of the behavior of these mixed glycoSAMs has lacked detail. In this study, we examined the time-dependent clustering of mixed sugar+OEG glycoSAMs on ultraflat gold substrates. Composition and surface morphologic changes in the monolayers were analyzed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and atomic force microscopy (AFM), respectively. We provide evidence that the observed clustering is consistent with a phase separation process in which surface-bound glycans self-associate to form dense glycoclusters within the monolayer. These observations have significant implications for the construction of mixed glycoSAMs for use in biosensing and glycomics applications.
PMCID: PMC3350752  PMID: 22435511
Atomic force microscopy; carbohydrates; glycoSAM; phase separation; XPS
20.  The influence of surface lubricity on the adhesion of Navicula perminuta and Ulva linza to alkanethiol self-assembled monolayers 
The settlement and adhesion of Navicula perminuta and Ulva linza to methyl-terminated alkanethiol self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of increasing chain length has been investigated. Organisms were allowed to settle onto the monolayers and were subsequently exposed to hydrodynamic shear stress in order to determine their adhesion strength. Results show that as the SAM structure changes from amorphous to crystalline (C14), there is a marked change in the adhesion of N. perminuta and U. linza. Given that the SAMs in the series all exhibit similar contact angle behaviour and surface energy, it is hypothesized that the lubricity of the surface plays a role in determining the surface adhesion.
PMCID: PMC2373403  PMID: 17251139
adhesion; biofouling; alkanethiol; self-assembled monolayer; Ulva; Navicula
21.  Automated scanning probe lithography with n-alkanethiol self assembled monolayers on Au(111): Application for teaching undergraduate laboratories 
Journal of Laboratory Automation  2011;16(2):112-125.
Controllers for scanning probe instruments can be programmed for automated lithography to generate desired surface arrangements of nanopatterns of organic thin films, such as n-alkanethiol self-assembled monolayers (SAMs). In this report, atomic force microscopy (AFM) methods of lithography known as nanoshaving and nanografting are used to write nanopatterns within organic thin films. Commercial instruments provide software to control the length, direction, speed, and applied force of the scanning motion of the tip. For nanoshaving, higher forces are applied to an AFM tip to selectively remove regions of the matrix monolayer, exposing bare areas of the gold substrate. Nanografting is accomplished by force-induced displacement of molecules of a matrix SAM, followed immediately by the surface self-assembly of n-alkanethiol molecules from solution. Advancements in AFM automation enable rapid protocols for nanolithography, which can be accomplished within the tight time restraints of undergraduate laboratories. Example experiments with scanning probe lithography (SPL) will be described in this report that were accomplished by undergraduate students during laboratory course activities and research internships in the chemistry department of Louisiana State University. Students were introduced to principles of surface analysis and gained “hands-on” experience with nanoscale chemistry.
PMCID: PMC3072817  PMID: 21483651
22.  Dithienylcyclopentene-functionalised subphthalocyaninatoboron complexes: photochromism, fluorescence modulation and formation of self-assembled monolayers on gold 
Subphthalocyaninatoboron (SubPc) complexes bearing six peripheral n-dodecylthio substituents and an apical photochromic dithienylperfluorocyclopentene unit were prepared. The photoinduced isomerisation of the apical substitutent from the open to the ring-closed form significantly influences the photoluminescence of the covalently attached SubPc unit, which is more efficiently quenched by the ring-closed form. Films on gold were fabricated from these multifunctional conjugates and characterised by near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The results are in accord with the formation of self-assembled monolayers based on dome-shaped SubPc-based anchor groups. Their chemisorption is primarily due to the peripheral n-dodecylthio substituents, giving rise to covalently attached thiolate as well as coordinatively bound thioether units, whose alkyl chains are in an almost parallel orientation to the surface.
PMCID: PMC3549519  PMID: 22138955
23.  Modulation of electrochemical hydrogen evolution rate by araliphatic thiol monolayers on gold 
Electrochimica acta  2013;90:10.1016/j.electacta.2012.11.116.
Electroreductive desorption of a highly ordered self-assembled monolayer (SAM) formed by the araliphatic thiol (4-(4-(4-pyridyl)phenyl)phenyl)methanethiol leads to a concurrent rapid hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). The desorption process and resulting interfacial structure were investigated by voltammetric techniques, in situ spectroscopic ellipsometry, and in situ vibrational sum–frequency–generation (SFG) spectroscopy. Voltammetric experiments on SAM-modified electrodes exhibit extraordinarily high peak currents, which di er between Au(111) and polycrystalline Au substrates. Association of reductive desorption with HER is shown to be the origin of the observed excess cathodic charges. The studied SAM preserves its two–dimensional order near Au surface throughout a fast voltammetric scan even when the vertex potential is set several hundred millivolt beyond the desorption potential. A model is developed for the explanation of the observed rapid HER involving ordering and pre–orientation of water present in the nanometer–sized reaction volume between desorbed SAM and the Au electrode, by the structurally extremely stable monolayer, leading to the observed catalysis of the HER.
PMCID: PMC3825286  PMID: 24235778
Reductive SAM desorption; Hydrogen evolution; Catalysis; Sum frequency generation spectroscopy; Spectroscopic ellipsometry
24.  Effect of Substratum Surface Chemistry and Surface Energy on Attachment of Marine Bacteria and Algal Spores 
Two series of self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of ω-substituted alkanethiolates on gold were used to systematically examine the effects of varying substratum surface chemistry and energy on the attachment of two model organisms of interest to the study of marine biofouling, the bacterium Cobetia marina (formerly Halomonas marina) and zoospores of the alga Ulva linza (formerly Enteromorpha linza). SAMs were formed on gold-coated glass slides from solutions containing mixtures of methyl- and carboxylic acid-terminated alkanethiols and mixtures of methyl- and hydroxyl-terminated alkanethiols. C. marina attached in increasing numbers to SAMs with decreasing advancing water contact angles (θAW), in accordance with equation-of-state models of colloidal attachment. Previous studies of Ulva zoospore attachment to a series of mixed methyl- and hydroxyl-terminated SAMs showed a similar correlation between substratum θAW and zoospore attachment. When the hydrophilic component of the SAMs was changed to carboxylate, however, the profile of attachment of Ulva was significantly different, suggesting that a more complex model of interfacial energetics is required.
PMCID: PMC444801  PMID: 15240295
25.  Preparation and Characterization of Covalently Binding of Rat Anti-human IgG Monolayer on Thiol-Modified Gold Surface 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2009;4(12):1403-1408.
The 16-mercaptohexadecanoic acid (MHA) film and rat anti-human IgG protein monolayer were fabricated on gold substrates using self-assembled monolayer (SAM) method. The surface properties of the bare gold substrate, the MHA film and the protein monolayer were characterized by contact angle measurements, atomic force microscopy (AFM), grazing incidence X-ray diffraction (GIXRD) method and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, respectively. The contact angles of the MHA film and the protein monolayer were 18° and 12°, respectively, all being hydrophilic. AFM images show dissimilar topographic nanostructures between different surfaces, and the thickness of the MHA film and the protein monolayer was estimated to be 1.51 and 5.53 nm, respectively. The GIXRD 2θ degrees of the MHA film and the protein monolayer ranged from 0° to 15°, significantly smaller than that of the bare gold surface, but the MHA film and the protein monolayer displayed very different profiles and distributions of their diffraction peaks. Moreover, the spectra of binding energy measured from these different surfaces could be well fitted with either Au4f, S2p or N1s, respectively. Taken together, these results indicate that MHA film and protein monolayer were successfully formed with homogeneous surfaces, and thus demonstrate that the SAM method is a reliable technique for fabricating protein monolayer.
PMCID: PMC2893859  PMID: 20652126
Rat anti-human IgG; Self-assembled monolayer; Covalent binding; Contact angle; Atomic force microscopy; Grazing incidence X-ray diffraction; X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy

Results 1-25 (332845)