Applied Surface Science, Vol.252, No.2, 400-411, 2005
Oxidation protection of copper surfaces using self-assembled monolayers of octadecanethiol
Self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of alkanethiols adsorbed onto clean surfaces of face centred cubic (fcc) metals have been studied extensively for their ability to control the chemical functionality of the surface and as a means of preventing the oxidation and corrosion of the substrate metal. However, in many cases it has been found that on reactive substrates such as copper, it is difficult to prepare SAMs without the incorporation of some oxygen into the structure. In this work, self-assembled monolayers of octadecanethiol (ODT) were formed on copper foil substrates using a series of etching treatments to remove the native oxide layer prior to deposition of the ODT coating from a modified solution. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy was used to analyse the SAMs and showed that monolayers with no detectable oxygen content could be produced. The effect of exposing the samples to air at different temperatures was monitored to examine the rate of the oxidation process, which was found to vary strongly with temperature. Samples stored at room temperature were found to oxidise relatively quickly, while those kept in a refrigerator were slower. Storing samples in a freezer dramatically reduced the oxidation of the copper, such that samples kept for 10 weeks still did not show any clear evidence of oxygen incorporation. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.