Langmuir, 2012-07-10, Vol.28 (27), p.10192-10208
Self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of pentafluorobenzenethiol (PFBT) on Au(111) substrates, prepared with different immersion times (ITs) at room temperature, were studied using scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and infrared reflection–absorption spectroscopy (IRRAS). In the present study, the focus was on several important points of interest in the field of SAMs. First, the gold islands formed upon adsorption of PFBT molecules on the gold surface were monitored at different ITs in terms of their size, density, and shape. After short ITs (5 to 30 min), small gold islands with rounded shape were formed. These gold islands were arranged in a rather regular fashion and found to be quite mobile under the influence of the STM-tip during the scanning. When the IT was increased to 16 h, the results revealed the formation of highly ordered and orientated gold islands with very unusual shapes with straight edges meeting at 60° or 120° running preferentially along the ⟨11̅0⟩ substrate directions. The density of the gold islands was found to decrease with increasing IT until they almost disappeared from the SAMs prepared after 190 h of IT. On top of the gold islands, the PFBT molecules were found to adopt the closely packed (10√3 × 2) structure. Second, a number of structural defects such as disordered regions at the domain boundaries and dark row(s) of molecules within the ordered domains of the PFBT SAMs were observed at different ITs. The SAMs prepared after 190 h of IT were found to be free of these defects. Third, at low and moderate ITs, a variation in the PFBT molecular contrast was observed. This contrast variation was found to depend mainly on the tunneling parameters. Finally, our results revealed that the organization process of PFBT SAMs is IT-dependent. Consequently, a series of structural phases, namely, α, β, γ, δ, and ε were found. The α-, β-, γ-, and δ-phases were typically accompanied by the ε-phase that appeared on top of gold islands. With increasing IT, the α→β→ γ→δ→ε phase transitions took place. The resulting ε-phase, which covered the entire gold surface after 190 h of IT, yielded well-ordered self-assembled monolayers with large domains having a (10√3 × 2) superlattice structure.
Surface physical chemistry ; Chemistry ; General and physical chemistry ; Exact sciences and technology ; Gold - chemistry ; Temperature ; Adsorption ; Time Factors ; Microscopy, Scanning Tunneling ; Surface Properties ; Sulfhydryl Compounds - chemistry ; Molecular Structure ; Fluorobenzenes - chemistry ; Spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared ; Phase Transition ; Index Medicus
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