Organized molecular assemblies

George M. Whitesides, Gregory S. Ferguson, David Allara, Dan Scherson, Lois Speaker, Ari Ulman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) are part of a class of organized molecular assemblies (OMAs) that represent a major new theme in condensed-matter science. The characteristics of SAMs and a summary of research recommendations are first presented in an executive summary. After introducing the definitions and characteristics of OMAs in which Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) films are compared with SAMs, the opportunities for scientific study, technological applications of SAMs, and limitations to transferring scientific understanding into technology are discussed. The discussion of SAMs includes the scientific opportunities in condensed-matter science, heteroepitaxy, and nanostructures; the technological applications in fuel cells, photoelectrochemistry, polymer/metal (oxide) interfaces, and thin-film, multilayer, solar collectors; and the limitations of stability. monolayer-substrate interactions, and mechanical stability for the transfer of science into technology. After providing an overview and discussing potential payoffs from research, the needs and opportunities are summarized for tribology, fuel cells, photovoltaic cells, electrochromic windows, surface contamination, selectivity, and fouling in membrane separations, biosurfaces, sensors, and corrosion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-65
Number of pages17
JournalCritical Reviews in Surface Chemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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