Self-assembled monolayers of rigid thiols

Abraham Ulman, Jung F. Kang, Yitzhak Shnidman, Sheng Liao, Rainer Jordan, Gun Young Choi, Julien Zaccaro, Allan S. Myerson, Miriam Rafailovich, Jonathan Sokolov, Cathy Fleischer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The preparation, structure, properties and applications of self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of rigid 4-mercapto-biphenyls are briefly reviewed. The rigid character of the biphenyl moiety results in a molecular dipole moment that affects both the adsorption kinetics on gold surfaces, as well as the equilibrium structure of mixed SAMs. Due to repulsive intermolecular interaction, the Langmuir isotherm model does not fit the adsorption kinetics of these biphenyl thiols, and a new Ising model was developed to fit the kinetics data. The equilibrium structures of SAMs and mixed SAMs depend on the polarity of the solution from which they were assembled. Infrared spectroscopy suggests that biphenyl moieties in SAMs on gold have small tilt angles with respect to the surfaces normal. Wetting studies shows that surfaces of these SAMs are stable for months, thus providing stable model surfaces that can be engineered at the molecular level. Such molecular engineering is important for nucleation and growth studies. The morphology of glycine crystals grown on SAM surfaces depends on the structure of the nucleating glycine layer, which, in turn, depends on the H-bonding of these molecules with the SAM surface. Finally, the adhesion of PDMS cross-linked networks to SAM surfaces depends on the concentration of interfacial H-bonding. This non-linear relationship suggests that the polymeric nature of the elastomer results in a collective H-bonding effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-188
Number of pages14
JournalReviews in Molecular Biotechnology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000


  • Langmuir
  • Rigid
  • Self-assembled monolayers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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