Characterization of Self-Assembled Monolayers of Oligo(phenyleneethynylene) Derivatives on Gold

University dissertation from Institutionen för natur och miljö

Abstract: Oligo(phenyleneethynylene) (OPE) molecules are a class of fully conjugated aromatic molecules, that attract attention for their application as “molecular wires” in molecular electronic devices. In this thesis work, self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) formed from a variety of OPE derivatives have been studied. The chemical properties, structure, and packing density of the SAMs have been characterized utilizing techniques such as high-resolution X-ray photoemission spectroscopy (HRXPS), near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy (NEXAFS), Infrared reflection absorption spectroscopy (IRRAS), contact angle measurements, and atomic force microscopy (AFM).In a first study, three OPE-derivatives, with benzene, naphthalene and anthracene, respectively, inserted into the backbone, and an acetyl-protected thiophenol binding group were found to form SAMs on Au(111) substrates with lower molecular surface densities and larger molecular inclination as the lateral ?-system increases.In a second study, porphyrin was introduced as the end group to a wire-like molecule such as OPE. The purpose was to obtain well-organized and functionalized surfaces with optical and redox properties. Three porphyrin-functionalized OPEs had different binding groups, an acetyl-protected thiophenol, a benzylic thiol, and a trimethylsilylethynylene group, and were found to form SAMs on gold surfaces with difference in structure and degree of order. The molecules with the acetyl-protected thiophenol binding group were found to form a high quality SAM compared to the other two. This SAM exhibits a well-ordered and densely packed layer.This study gives rise to a better understanding of SAM formation of OPE derivatives, and will form a base for further investigations of charge transport properties of these molecular films, which is of interest for applications in molecular electronic devices.