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Issue 40, 2020
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Mapping the capacitance of self-assembled monolayers at metal/electrolyte interfaces at the nanoscale by in-liquid scanning dielectric microscopy

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Abstract

Organic self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) at metal/electrolyte interfaces have been thoroughly investigated both from fundamental and applied points of view. A relevant figure of merit of metal/SAM/electrolyte interfaces is the specific capacitance, which determines the charge that can be accumulated at the metal electrode. Here, we show that the specific capacitance of non-uniform alkanethiol SAMs at gold/electrolyte interfaces can be quantitatively measured and mapped at the nanoscale by in-liquid scanning dielectric microscopy in force detection mode. We show that sub-100 nm spatial resolution in ultrathin (<1 nm) SAMs can be achieved, largely improving the performance of current sensing characterization techniques. The present results provide access to study the dielectric properties of metal/SAM/electrolyte interfaces at scales that have remained unexplored until now.

Graphical abstract: Mapping the capacitance of self-assembled monolayers at metal/electrolyte interfaces at the nanoscale by in-liquid scanning dielectric microscopy

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Article information


Submitted
03 Aug 2020
Accepted
12 Sep 2020
First published
15 Sep 2020

Nanoscale, 2020,12, 20658-20668
Article type
Paper

Mapping the capacitance of self-assembled monolayers at metal/electrolyte interfaces at the nanoscale by in-liquid scanning dielectric microscopy

R. Millan-Solsona, M. Checa, L. Fumagalli and G. Gomila, Nanoscale, 2020, 12, 20658
DOI: 10.1039/D0NR05723A

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