Using a micromechanical cantilever device, the surface stress induced during the growth of alkanedithiol (HS(CH2)nSH) monolayers on gold in solution is continuously monitored and reported. Adsorption of alkanedithiols of varying chain lengths is observed and compared to each other, as well as to the adsorption of hydroxyalkanethiols (HS(CH2) nOH) and alkanethiols (HS(CH2)nCH3). The results have revealed a significant change in surface stress on the basis of the chain length of the alkanedithiol. The long-chain (n > 10) alkanedithiol adsorption imposes a tensile stress on the gold-coated surface of the cantilever rather than the compressive stress exhibited by both alkanethiols and short-chain dithiols. Our results suggest a phenomenon in which the two thiols of the alkanedithiol adsorb onto the gold surface forming a loop inducing a tensile stress on the cantilever for long chain lengths. This study shows that micromechanical cantilever sensors can be very valuable tools in the exploration and characterization of self-assembled monolayers.