Superlattice structure at the surface of a monolayer of octadecanethiol self-assembled on Au(111)

Nicholas Camillone, Christopher E D Chidsey, Gang-yu Liu, Giacinto Scoles

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362 Scopus citations


We report direct evidence of a unit mesh containing more than one hydrocarbon chain at the surface of a self-assembled monolayer of long-chain n-alkanethiols. Our helium diffraction measurements for a monolayer of n-octadecanethiol on Au(111) are consistent with a rectangular primitive unit mesh of dimensions 8.68×10.02 Å containing four crystallographically distinct hydrocarbon chains. This packing arrangement can also be described as a c(4×2) superlattice with respect to the fundamental simple hexagonal [(√3×√3)R30°] array of lattice parameter 5.01 Å previously observed for monolayers of other n-alkanethiols on gold. No temperature-dependent phase behavior is observed in the temperature range where surface diffraction is measurable (30-100 K) and cycling up to temperatures as high as 50°C caused no observable change in the diffraction. It is proposed that this larger unit mesh is the result of a patterned arrangement of rotations of the hydrocarbon chains about their molecular axes. This patterned arrangement must be different than the herringbone structure expected by simple analogy to bulk n-alkanes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3503-3511
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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