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1.  X-ray spectroscopy characterization of self-assembled monolayers of nitrile-substituted oligo(phenylene ethynylene)s with variable chain length 
Self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of nitrile-substituted oligo(phenylene ethynylene) thiols (NC-OPEn) with a variable chain length n (n ranging from one to three structural units) on Au(111) were studied by synchrotron-based high-resolution X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and near-edge absorption fine-structure spectroscopy. The experimental data suggest that the NC-OPEn molecules form well-defined SAMs on Au(111), with all the molecules bound to the substrate through the gold–thiolate anchor and the nitrile tail groups located at the SAM–ambient interface. The packing density in these SAMs was found to be close to that of alkanethiolate monolayers on Au(111), independent of the chain length. Similar behavior was found for the molecular inclination, with an average tilt angle of ~33–36° for all the target systems. In contrast, the average twist of the OPEn backbone (planar conformation) was found to depend on the molecular length, being close to 45° for the films comprising the short OPE chains and ~53.5° for the long chains. Analysis of the data suggests that the attachment of the nitrile moiety, which served as a spectroscopic marker group, to the OPEn backbone did not significantly affect the molecular orientation in the SAMs.
PMCID: PMC3304316  PMID: 22428092
nitrile substitution; oligo(phenylene ethynylene); self-assembled monolayers; twist angle; X-ray absorption spectroscopy
2.  Adamantane-Based Tripodal Thioether Ligands Functionalized with a Redox-Active Ferrocenyl Moiety for Self-Assembled Monolayers 
Self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) can decorate surfaces with `smart´ functional units possessing reversible stimulus–response behavior for optical, thermal, magnetic or redox-chemical stimuli. An independent performance of individual functional groups in such a film is desirable, which can be, in particular, ensured by fairly large lateral separations between tailgroups in the SAM. Adsorbate molecules with multiple attachment points are very promising in this context owing to their large surface footprint, which covers a surface area exceeding the lateral dimensions of the functional groups. To address these design constraints, novel tridentate long-chain tripodal thioether ligands with central adamantine units and a redox-active ferrocenyl tailgroup, 1-[4-(ferrocenylethynyl)phenyl]-3,5,7-tri[(4-n-octylsulfanyl)phenyl]adamantine (T8) and 1-[4-(ferrocenylethynyl)phenyl]-3,5,7-tri[(4-n-dodecylsulfanyl)phenyl]adamantine (T12), were synthesized and used as tripodal adsorbate molecules for the fabrication of redox-active ferrocenyl-terminated SAMs on Au(111). These SAMs were characterized by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, near edge X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy and sum frequency generation spectroscopy. The data suggest that T8 and T12 form almost contamination-free, well-aligned and fairly densely-packed SAMs on Au(111) with laterally separated ferrocenyl units. The SAMs show a homogeneous binding chemistry, an important requirement for high fidelity SAMs. SFG results indicate lateral interactions between neighboring molecules via the long-chain binding units.
PMCID: PMC3049913  PMID: 21399702
3.  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

Results 1-3 (3)