Modified Organosilane Monolayers with Enhanced Radiation Stability

Adam P. Hinckley, Anthony J. Muscat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Organosilane monolayers containing long carbon chains are susceptible to damage when exposed to X-rays and other radiation during characterization or processing. The origin of the damage has been attributed to both energetic photons and photoelectrons. These particles can break bonds in the molecules comprising the layer altering its composition and structure and can create silanol groups at the interface between the monolayer and the silicon dioxide surface. A common practice to minimize damage is to keep the X-ray beam time as short as possible. In this study, we report a method to deposit an organosilane monolayer on silicon dioxide that withstands X-ray beam damage to the interface. Adding the small monofunctional trimethylchlorosilane to a layer composed of the long-chain trifunctional octadecyltrichlorosilane prevented X-ray beam damage for at least 4 h. Interfacial damage was monitored by titrating silanol groups with TiCl4 and water atomic layer deposition and measuring the TiO2 deposited by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The small monofunctional silane reacted with residual silanol groups capping the siloxane (-Si-O-Si-O-) chains at the interface. The low silanol group concentration minimized X-ray beam damage and prevented TiO2 from depositing to the detection limit of XPS. Using a small molecule to terminate reactive groups could improve the stability of monolayers not only during characterization and processing, but also when the monolayer is a component in an electrical device by reducing sources of interfacial charge traps.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4116-4122
Number of pages7
Issue number15
StatePublished - Apr 21 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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