Self-assembly of the 3-aminopropyltrimethoxysilane multilayers on Si and hysteretic current–voltage characteristics
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We report the deposition of 3-aminopropyltrimethoxysilane (APTMS) multilayers on SiOx/Si(p++) substrates by a layer-by-layer self-assembly process. The multilayers were grafted in a glove box having nitrogen ambient with both humidity and oxygen contents <1 ppm using APTMS solutions prepared in an anhydrous toluene. Deposition of the multilayers has been carried out as a function of solution concentration and grafting time. Characterization of the multilayers using static de-ionized water contact angle, ellipsometry, X-rayphotoelectron spectroscopy and atomic force microscope measurements revealed that self-assembling of the multilayers takes place in two distinct stages: (i) the first APTMS monolayer chemisorbs on a hydroxylated oxide surface by a silanization process and, (ii) the surface amino group of the first monolayer chemisorbs the hydrolyzed silane group of other APTMS molecules present in the solution, leading to the formation of a bilayer. The second stage is a self-replicating process that results in the layer-by-layer self-assembly of the multilayers with trapped NH3+ ions. The current–voltage characteristics of the multilayers exhibit a hysteresis effect along with a negative differential resistance, suggesting their potential application in the molecular memory devices. A possible mechanism for the observed hysteresis effect based on filling and de-filling of the NH3+ acting as traps is presented.
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