Reverse self-assembly: (111)-Oriented gold crystallization at alkylthiol monolayer templates

Ahmet Uysal*, Benjamin Stripe, Binhua Lin, Mati Meron, Pulak Dutta

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


It has long been known that thiol-terminated molecules self-assemble as commensurate monolayers on Au(111) surfaces. By spreading floating octadecanethiol monolayers on aqueous solutions of chloroauric acid (HAuCl 4) and using x rays to reduce the gold ions as well as to probe the structure, we have observed the nucleation of (111)-oriented Au nanoparticles at thiol surfaces. This process may be similar to the formation of biogenic gold by bacteria. The thiol monolayer acts as a "soft template," changing its structure as Au crystals form so that there is a √3×√3 commensurate relationship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number115503
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number11
StatePublished - Sep 8 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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