Department of Physics and Astronomy: Publications and Other Research


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Published in Materials Letters 63:12 (May 15, 2009), pp. 961–964; doi 10.1016/j.matlet.2009.01.025 Copyright © 2009 Elsevier B.V. Used by permission.


Single molecular layers of 2-(4-pyridylethyl)triethoxysilane have been deposited on native oxide surfaces of silicon, with the triethoxysilylethyl groups towards the silicon oxide interface and pyridine at the surface. It is possible to “shave” or mechanically break the molecular bonds at the alkoxy-silane (Si–C) bond using scanning atomic force microscope, leaving large swaths of surface area cut to a depth of 0.64 ± 0.06 nm, exposing the silicon of the alkoxy-silane ligand. Mechanical cleavage of the pyridine ligand alone is also possible, but more difficult to control selectively.

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