AFM force measurements between SAM-modified tip and SAM-modified substrate in alkaline solution

Han Cheol Kwon, Andrew A Gewirth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The reversible desorption and adsorption of ethanethiol (ET) and hexadecane thiol (HDT) self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) on gold substrates are addressed with potential-dependent AFM force measurements where both tip and substrate potentials are controlled independently. For HDT-modified tip and substrate, the potential dependence of the force curve corresponds to the observed voltammetric features. The adhesion interaction between HDT-modified tip and substrate exhibits a large adhesion, whereas the adhesion is reduced to one-quarter of its original value after HDT on the substrate is removed. The presence of both attractive features on the approach curve and large adhesion on retraction after thiol desorption are ascribed to micelle formation from the desorbed, insoluble, thiols above the Au surface. For the ET-modified tip and substrate, the force curve evinces time-dependent recovery after the thiol adsorption peak which arises from the finite time of diffusion of the desorbed thiol back to the substrate. However, the force curves exhibit little potential dependence when the ET-desorbed tip is interacted with ET-modified substrate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10213-10222
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number20
StatePublished - May 26 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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