Comparative study of decyl thiocyanate and decanethiol self-assembled monolayers on gold substrates

Laurent Dreesen, Cedric Volcke, Yannick Sartenaer, André Peremans, Paul Thiry, Christophe Humbert, Jérôme Grugier, Jacqueline Marchand-Brynaert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In a recent paper Ciszek et al. [J.W. Ciszek, M.P. Stewart, J.M. Tour, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 126 (2004) 13172] showed that organic thiocyanates may be an interesting alternative to the use of thiols for thiolate assemblies. We use scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM), infrared reflection absorption and sum-frequency generation spectroscopies (IRRAS and SFG) in order to study the adsorption properties of decyl thiocyanates (DTCN) and compare them to the decanethiol (DT) ones. Firstly, IRRAS measurements show that DTCN molecules form self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) on gold via a thiolate link with the metallic substrate. Secondly, the DTCN SAM on gold is less ordered than the DT one as highlighted by SFG spectroscopy. Indeed, the intensities of the methyl vibration modes vanish while the methylene ones increase when DTCN molecules are adsorbed on the substrate instead of DT. We explain the differences in SAMs quality on the basis of STM measurements which reveal differences in molecular order and packing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4052-4057
Number of pages6
JournalSurface Science
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • Sum-frequency generation spectroscopy
  • Self-assembled monolayers
  • Decyl thiocyanate
  • Scanning tunnelling microscopy
  • Decanethiol


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