Photochemical Covalent Attachment of Alkene-Derived Monolayers onto Hydroxyl-Terminated Silica

J. ter Maat, R. Regeling, M. Yang, M.N. Mullings, S.F. Bent, H. Zuilhof

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


The functionalization of optically transparent substrates is of importance, for example, in the field of biosensing. In this article, a new method for modification of silica surfaces is presented that is based on a photochemical reaction of terminal alkenes with the surface. This yields highly hydrophobic surfaces, which are thermally stable up to at least 400 °C. The formed monolayer provides chemical passivation of the underlying surface, according to studies showing successful blocking of platinum atomic layer deposition (ALD). The reaction is photochemically initiated, requiring light with a wavelength below 275 nm. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and infrared spectroscopy studies show that the alkenes initially bind to the surface hydroxyl groups in Markovnikov fashion. At prolonged reaction times (>5 h), however, oligomerization occurs, resulting in layer growth normal to the surface. The photochemical nature of the reaction enables the use of photolithography as a tool to constructively pattern silica surfaces. Atomic force microscopy shows that the features of the photomask are well transferred. The newly developed method can complement existing patterning methods on silica that are based on soft lithography.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11592-11597
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • self-assembled monolayers
  • atomic layer deposition
  • organic monolayers
  • infrared-spectroscopy
  • mixed monolayers
  • oxide surfaces
  • oxygen
  • luminescence
  • transition
  • adsorption

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