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Pure Appl. Chem., 2002, Vol. 74, No. 9, pp. 1593-1607

Structure and dynamics of monolayers on planar and cluster surfaces

T. Pradeep and N. Sandhyarani*

Department of Chemistry and Regional Sophisticated Instrumentation Centre, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai 600 036, India

Abstract: Organized molecular assemblies have been one of the intensely pursued areas of contemporary chemistry. Among the various methodologies used to make organized monolayer structures, self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) have been attractive to many materials chemists owing to the simplicity of the preparative method and high stability. Advances in various techniques and their application in the study of SAMs have significantly improved our understanding of these molecular systems. These studies have been further intensified since the successful preparation of stable metal clusters protected with monolayers. This article reviews the structure, temperature-induced phase transitions, and associated dynamics of monolayers, principally in the context of our own work in this area. Alkanethiols on Au(111) and Ag(111) are taken as archetypal systems to discuss the properties of 2D SAMs; studies from our laboratory have been on evaporated thin films. Alkanethiols on Au and Ag cluster surfaces are taken as examples of 3D SAMs. Although our principal focus will be on alkanethiols, we will touch upon a few other adsorbate systems as well.