Characterization of phosphonic acid binding to zinc oxide

Peter J. Hotchkiss, Michał Malicki, Anthony J. Giordano, Neal R. Armstrong, Seth R. Marder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


Radio Frequency (RF) sputter-deposited zinc oxide (ZnO) films have been modified with alkylphosphonic acids in order to study both the binding of the phosphonic acid (PA) group to the ZnO surface and the packing of the alkyl chain. The characterization of these PA-modified ZnO substrates by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), infrared reflection-absorption spectroscopy (IRRAS), atomic force microscopy (AFM) and contact angle measurements is presented herein. The surface modification procedure is straightforward and was adapted from earlier work. XPS analysis shows that oxygen plasma (OP) treatment creates reactive oxygen species on the surface of ZnO, allowing for a more robust binding of PAs to the ZnO surface. IRRAS analysis indicates that octadecylphosphonic acid binds to the ZnO surface in a predominantly tridentate fashion, forming dense, well-packed monolayers with alkyl chains in a fully anti-conformation. AFM and contact angle measurements indicate good surface coverage of the PAs with little to no multilayer formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3107-3112
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry
Issue number9
StatePublished - Mar 7 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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