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Title:Size effects on self-assembly and melting of silver-alkanethiolate on inert surfaces
Author(s):Hu, Liang
Director of Research:Allen, Leslie H.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Allen, Leslie H.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Geil, Phillip H.; Zuo, Jian-Min; Hsieh, Kuang-Chien
Department / Program:Materials Science & Engineerng
Discipline:Materials Science & Engr
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Self-assembled monolayer
Size effect
Melting point depression
Abstract:Self-assembled materials produced in the reaction between alkanethiol and Ag are characterized and compared. It is revealed that the size of the Ag substrate has a significant role in the self-assembly process and determines the reaction products. Alkanethiol adsorbs on the surface of Ag continuous planar thin films and only forms self-assembled monolayers (SAMs), while the reaction between alkanethiol and Ag clusters on inert surfaces is more aggressive and generates a significantly larger amount of alkanethiolate. Two dissimilar products are yielded depending on the size of the clusters. Small Ag clusters are more likely to be converted into multilayer silver-alkanethiolate (AgSR, R = CnH2n+1) crystals, while larger Ag clusters form monolayer-protected clusters (MPCs). The AgSR crystals are initially small and can ripen into large lamellae during thermal annealing. The crystals have facets and flat terraces with extended area, and have a strong preferred orientation in parallel with the substrate surface. The MPCs move laterally upon annealing and reorganize into a single-layer network with their separation distance approximately equal to the length of an extended alkyl chain. AgSR lamellar crystals grown on inert surfaces provide an excellent platform to study the melting characteristics of crystalline lamellae of polymeric materials with the thickness in the nanometer scale. This system is also unique in that each crystal has integer number of layers – magic-number size (thickness). The size of the crystals is controlled by adjusting the amount of Ag and the annealing temperature. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) are combined to accurately determine the size (number of layers) of the lamellar crystals. The melting characteristics are measured with nanocalorimetry and show discrete melting transitions which are attributed to the magic-number sizes of the lamellar crystals. The discrete melting temperatures are intrinsic properties of the crystals with particular sizes. Smaller lamellar crystals with less number of layers melt at lower temperatures. The melting point depression is inversely proportional to the total thickness of the lamellae – the product of the number of layers and the layer thickness.
Issue Date:2010-08-31
Rights Information:Copyright 2010 Liang Hu
Date Available in IDEALS:2010-08-31
Date Deposited:2010-08

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