Mechanical Properties of Oligothiophene Self Assembled Films by Atomic Force Microscopy

Abstract

The oligothiophene derivative (4-(5″″-tetradecyl-[2,2′;5′,2″;5″,2″′;5″′,2″″] pentathiophen-5-yl)-butyric acid (C14-5TBA) was synthesized and the structural and mechanical properties of self-assembled monolayers on mica have been studied by atomic force microscopy (AFM). The films were prepared by drop casting a dilute THF solution (1mM) of the oligothiphene on mica. Islands containing primarily monolayers with a very small percentage of multilayers were formed. The molecules adsorb through the carboxylic group, and expose the alkyl chain (CH2)13CH3. High resolution AFM scans reveal a well ordered structure of molecules with unit cell dimensions of 0.65 and 0.46 nm. Applying load to the tip, the molecular film was gradually compressed from an initial height of 4.1nm to a final one of 2.6 nm, corresponding to atilt of the alkyl chains. In regions covered with bilayers the molecules in the second layer were oriented opposite to those in the first layer, thus exposing the carboxylic end group to the air. These second layer was easily removed as the tip pressure increased.

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Correspondence to Imma Ratera.

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Ratera, I., Chen, J., Murphy, A. et al. Mechanical Properties of Oligothiophene Self Assembled Films by Atomic Force Microscopy. MRS Online Proceedings Library 871, 85 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-871-I8.5

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