Journal of Solid State Electrochemistry

, Volume 9, Issue 7, pp 512–519 | Cite as

Mapping of defects in self-assembled monolayers by polymer decoration

  • Dusan Losic
  • Joe G. Shapter
  • J. Justin. Gooding
Original Paper


A new method mapping the defects in self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) is described. The method is based on electrochemical polymerisation of nonconductive tyramine in defect sites of a monolayer and subsequent visualisation of the polymer structures by atomic force microscopy (AFM). SAMs of hexadecanthiol (HDT) on gold prepared by deposition from solution and microcontact printing were used as a model for this study. The method allows easy mapping of defects on monolayers and provides information about their shape, size, size distribution, defect density and spatial distribution. Comparative electrochemical characterisation of defects in SAMs before and after polymerisation shows that polymer growth occurs on the sites of uncovered gold. The approach should be applicable for the characterisation of defects in other types of ultra-thin organic films on conducting surfaces.


Self-assembled monolayers Defects Electrochemical polymerisation Polytyramine Scanning tunnelling microscopy Atomic force microscopy 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dusan Losic
    • 1
  • Joe G. Shapter
    • 1
  • J. Justin. Gooding
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Chemistry, Physics and Earth ScienceThe Flinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.School of ChemistryThe University of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

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