Ge(001) before and after gold evaporation and annealing
Kernel of the 4-probe microscope (left), crushed tip on Si surface (middle), two STM tips over gold structures on Ge(001) surface

Project supported by the Narodowe Centrum Nauki (National Science Centre)

“Stability of the Molecule-Substrate Interface in Selfassembled Monolayers Analyzed by Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry”

contract number: UMO-2011/01/B/ST4/00665 for years 2011-2013

Considering the thickness (usually 1-3 nm), ordered structure and vast modification possibilities, Self-Assembled Monolayers (SAMs) are of great interest for many applications in anotechnology ranging from nanolithography and molecular electronics to sensors and biocompatible layers (note 1971 citations of review paper from 2005! – see Love et al. Chem. Rev. 2005). The growing number of potential applications of SAMs demands better understanding of their structure, which is the result of simultaneous optimization of the chemical bonding of the molecule to the crystalline substrate and intermolecular interactions. However, it turns out that even for the most simple SAMs, the structure of their bonding to the substrate is still controversial. The source for these controversies are both theoretical and experimental problems with the analysis of the molecule-substrate interface, which is fundamental for SAMs stability. As a consequence stability of this interface for technologically relevant, and therefore more complicated SAMs, remains extremely difficult to investigate. Since the stability of the molecule-substrate interface is of key importance for most of potential SAMs applications (with molecular electronics in particular), the overcoming of this difficulty is one of the most fundamental challenges to pave the way to real applications of SAMs.

Considering indicated above needs in basic SAMs research, the main scientific goal of this proposal is application of the static secondary ion mass spectrometry (S-SIMS) to analyze the relative stability of the molecule-substrate interface in complicated and technologically relevant SAMs.

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