Structural characterization of 4-bromostyrene self-assembled monolayers on Si(111)

Rajiv Basu, Jui Ching Lin, Chang Yong Kim, Matthew J. Schmitz, Nathan L. Yoder, Joshua A. Kellar, Michael J. Bedzyk, Mark C. Hersam*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Organic functionalization of silicon holds promise for a variety of applications ranging from molecular electronics to biosensing. Because the performance and reliability of organosilicon devices will be intimately tied to the detailed structure of the organic adlayers, it is imperative to develop systematic strategies for forming and characterizing self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) on silicon with submolecular spatial resolution. In this study, we use 4-bromostyrene for the photochemical growth of Br-terminated SAMs on Si(111). A variety of experimental and theoretical techniques including atomic force microscopy (AFM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), X-ray reflectivity (XRR), X-ray standing waves (XSW), X-ray fluorescence (XRF), and density functional theory (DFT) have been employed to determine the coverage and conformation of the 4-bromostryene molecules within the SAM. In particular, AFM verifies a continuous and atomically flat SAM, and the XRR data indicate a SAM thickness of 8.50 Å and a molecular coverage of 46% of the surface silicon atoms. Because the DFT calculations indicate a molecular length of 8.89 Å, the measured XRR thickness implies a molecular tilt angle of approximately 17°. The XRR analysis also suggests that the Br atoms are preserved on top of the SAM in agreement with XPS measurements that show bromine bound solely to carbon and not to silicon. XRF reveals a Br atomic coverage of 50%, again in close agreement to that found by XRR. Single-crystal Bragg diffraction XSW is used to generate a three-dimensional map of the Br distribution within the SAM, which in conjunction with the XRR result suggests that the 4-bromostyrene molecules are tilted such that the Br atoms are located over the T4 sites at a height of 8.50 Å above the top bulklike Si(111) layer. The direction of molecular tilt toward the T4 sites is consistent with that predicted by the DFT calculation. Overall, through this unique suite of complementary structural characterization techniques, it is concluded that the Br functional handle is preserved at the top of the SAM and is available for further substitutional chemistry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1905-1911
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 13 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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