Measuring the activation energy of thiol desorption using lateral force microscopy

Yenchih Liao, H. Sun, Brandon Weeks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Thermal stability of self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) is important for applications in various surface science applications. As a model material, 16-mercaptohexadecanoic acid (MHA) on template stripped gold surfaces was investigated to determine the effect of temperature on the change of lateral force signal using atomic force microscopy (AFM). Friction force signals were obtained at various temperatures in order to determine whether it was possible to correlate the friction signal with desorption of the thiol molecule from the surface. Samples were heated for up to 10 h ranging from 40 to 80°C in air and scanned every hour. A kinetic model was introduced to correlate the lateral force signal to the activation energy of desorption of the SAM from gold surface with heating. The activation energy of the detachment using this technique is 25.4 kcal/mol, which is consistent with other more complex techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-205
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2012


  • AFM/other scanned probe microscopes
  • surface analysis


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