chapter  17
20 Pages

Self-Assembled Monolayers

Self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) are ordered monomolecular šlms of an organic species that organize spontaneously on a substrate (Ulman 1996, Chaki 2001, Schreiber 2004, Love et al. 2005). ™e great and growing attention paid to these composites is motivated by their interest as prototypical organic-inorganic interfaces, but chie°y by the wide variety of their applications, most of them in the šeld of nanotechnology. SAMs are nanosystems, as they have at least one nanoscopic dimension. In the most thoroughly studied case of organic molecules attached to a planar surface, this dimension is the thickness of the šlm, which is usually 1-3 nm. Metal, metal oxide, and semiconductor surfaces have been used as SAM substrates. However, SAMs can assemble on surfaces of any shape or size, and many currently active projects related to SAM research involve monolayers deposited on nanoparticles (e.g., Doellefeld et  al. 2002, Berry and Curtis 2004, Antolini et  al. 2007), and thus deal with objects conšned to the nanoscale in all three dimensions.