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1.  Simple direct formation of self-assembled N-heterocyclic carbene monolayers on gold and their application in biosensing 
Nature Communications  2016;7:12654.
The formation of organic films on gold employing N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs) has been previously shown to be a useful strategy for generating stable organic films. However, NHCs or NHC precursors typically require inert atmosphere and harsh conditions for their generation and use. Herein we describe the use of benzimidazolium hydrogen carbonates as bench stable solid precursors for the preparation of NHC films in solution or by vapour-phase deposition from the solid state. The ability to prepare these films by vapour-phase deposition permitted the analysis of the films by a variety of surface science techniques, resulting in the first measurement of NHC desorption energy (158±10 kJ mol−1) and confirmation that the NHC sits upright on the surface. The use of these films in surface plasmon resonance-type biosensing is described, where they provide specific advantages versus traditional thiol-based films.
Self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) have shown tremendous number of applications but can suffer from low stability. Here, the authors report air and bench stable carbene precursors allowing facile SAM formation, and furthermore demonstrate an application in biosensing
doi:10.1038/ncomms12654
PMCID: PMC5025784  PMID: 27585494
2.  Electron-beam patterned self-assembled monolayers as templates for Cu electrodeposition and lift-off 
Summary
Self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of 4'-methylbiphenyl-4-thiol (MBP0) adsorbed on polycrystalline gold substrates served as templates to control electrochemical deposition of Cu structures from acidic solution, and enabled the subsequent lift-off of the metal structures by attachment to epoxy glue. By exploiting the negative-resist behaviour of MBP0, the SAM was patterned by means of electron-beam lithography. For high deposition contrast a two-step procedure was employed involving a nucleation phase around −0.7 V versus Cu2+/Cu and a growth phase at around −0.35 V versus Cu2+/Cu. Structures with features down to 100 nm were deposited and transferred with high fidelity. By using substrates with different surface morphologies, AFM measurements revealed that the roughness of the substrate is a crucial factor but not the only one determining the roughness of the copper surface that is exposed after lift-off.
doi:10.3762/bjnano.3.11
PMCID: PMC3304313  PMID: 22428101
electrochemical nanotechnology; electrodeposition; lithography; metallic nanostructures; self-assembled monolayers; thiols

Results 1-2 (2)