On the chemical grafting of titanium nitride by diazonium chemistry†
Current research directions with the aim of extending the applications of titanium nitride (TiN) in areas of microelectronics, electrocatalysis, biosensors etc. require identifying new and efficient methods to modify this durable material with desired organic functionalities. We have clearly demonstrated in this work that diazonium chemistry can be considered for surface modification of titanium nitride. Indeed, a near-monolayer of aminophenylene has been reported to be spontaneously grafted onto the TiN surface by simple immersion of the substrates into an acidic solution of the corresponding diazonium cations. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy measurements strongly suggested a covalent coating of aminophenyl groups on titanium nitride. Surface functionalization with aminophenylene layers was also investigated in presence of hypophosphorous acid and iron powder. Effect of these homogeneous and heterogeneous reducing agents with respect to the formation of aryl layers at different thicknesses was discussed in detail on the basis of conventional hemolytic dediazoniation mechanism in combination with the XPS results.