Mass spectrometry of self-assembled monolayers: A new tool for molecular surface science

Milan Mrksich*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

172 Scopus citations


Most reactions can be performed in solution and on a surface, yet the challenges faced in applying known reactions or in developing entirely new reactions for modifying surfaces remain formidable. The products of many reactions performed in solution can be characterized in minutes, and even products having complex structures can be characterized in hours. When performed on surfaces, even the most basic reactions require a substantial effort - requiring several weeks - to characterize the yields and structures of the products. This contrast stems from the lack of convenient analytical tools that provide rapid information on the structures of molecules attached to a surface. This review describes recent work that has established mass spectrometry as a powerful method for developing and characterizing a broad range of chemical reactions of molecules attached to self-assembled monolayers of alkanethiolates on gold. The SAMDI-TOF mass spectrometry technique will enable a next generation of applications of molecularly defined surfaces to problems in chemistry and biology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-18
Number of pages12
JournalACS nano
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008


  • Biochip
  • Interfacial reactions
  • Label-free
  • SAMDI-TOF mass spectrometry
  • Self-assembled monolayer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


Dive into the research topics of 'Mass spectrometry of self-assembled monolayers: A new tool for molecular surface science'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this