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Observation of Dendritic Islands within Complete Octadecyltrichlorosilane Monolayers

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Thin self-assembled monolayers of organosilanes are commonly used as surface-energy modifiers; adhesion promoters; or in nanotechnology applications, either as resists or as building blocks in multilayer systems. The ordering of individual molecules within such a monolayer is very important to its applications and its properties. Numerous studies of the formation mechanism of these monolayers have been reported; one such growth mechanism via the formation of dendritic islands was observed under certain preparation conditions. Here we report on the visualization of star-shaped or dendritic domains, even within a complete self-assembled monolayer of octadecyltrichlorosilane, by imaging these monolayers in liquid-mode atomic-force microscopy. Significant differences of the oxidation properties of the dendritic islands, in contrast to the surrounding areas, could be demonstrated by electrooxidative lithography, which suggests different properties of the island-like structures within the octadecyltrichlorosilane film.
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  • Scanning probe microscopy (SPM) typically covers atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), near-field scanning optical microscopy (NSOM, or SNOM) and related technologies. Since its invention in early 1980s, SPM has now been regarded as one of the major driving forces for the rapid development of nanoscience and nanotechnology, and the tool of choice in many areas of research. Journal of Scanning Probe Microscopy (JSPM) provides a forum for rapid dissemination of important developments in SPM technology. JSPM offers scientists, engineers and developers timely, peer-reviewed research on SPM science and technology of the highest quality. JSPM publishes original rapid communications, full research papers and timely state-of-the-art reviews (with author's photo and biography) encompassing the fundamental and applied research on SPM in all fields of science, engineering, and medicine.
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