The application of reflection infrared and surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy to the characterization of chemisorbed organic disulfides on Au

D. L. Allara, R. G. Nuzzo

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We have found that a variety of organic molecules containing the SS linkage strongly adsorb on freshly evaporated or electrochemically cleaned gold surfaces. Adsorption stops at monolayer coverage and the packing density of the molecules can be close to the limit set by the size of the molecules. Reflection infrared spectra show that the films are strongly oriented and in the case of long alkyl-chain-substituted disulfides the films have structures similar to those of Langmuir-Blodgett type films. Most of the films were prepared by freshly evaporating gold onto polished single crystal silicon substrates. Immediately after the deposition the films were removed from the vacuum system (under N2) and placed in solutions of the disulfides. After rinsing the films were examined by ellipsometry at 6328Å and 4420Å and in general, the results are consistent with monolayer structures with close packing similar to bulk crystallites. Infrared spectra were obtained using a Digilab 15B Fourier transform infrared spectrometer with a high f/number optical system and small beam spot size for glancing reflection. Spectra were obtained between 800 and 3200cm-1 using a mercury cadmium telluride detector. The spectrum of a monolayer of the di-p-nitrobenzoate ester of trans-o-Dithiane-4,5-diol is shown in Figure 1. The structure of the diol is given below. The spectrum of the monolayer of the di-ester of the C16 acid (n-C15H31CO2H) is given in Figure 2. Notice the alkyl chain mode band series in the monolayer spectrum which indicates crystalline packing of the chains. The infrared spectra are consistent with oriented structures which maximize packing densities. No direct evidence is yet available for defining a AuS bond. However, a sample in which the monolayer of the p-nitrobenzoate derivative has been covered with 400Å average thickness of CaF2 and 200Å of smooth silver has yielded an enhanced Raman spectrum (λ(excite)=4880Å ∼50mW power) in which the normally strong S-S stretching mode observed at 504cm-1 in bulk samples is absent in the monolayer. These studies demonstrate an application of surface vibrational spectroscopy to defining molecular structures at surfaces. Work is presently underway to quantitatively calculate molecular orientation from the infrared spectra and to more carefully determine the extent of any ordering in appropriate monolayers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Electron Spectroscopy and Related Phenomena
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Radiation
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Spectroscopy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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