The formation and molecular structure of self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of anthracene-2-thiol (AnT) on Au(111) have been characterized by reflection adsorption infrared spectroscopy, thermal desorption spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, near-edge X-ray absorption spectroscopy, scanning tunneling microscopy, and low energy electron diffraction. It is demonstrated that highly ordered monolayer films are formed upon immersion, but their quality depends critically on the choice of solvents and rinsing conditions. The saturated monolayer is characterized by a closed packed arrangement of upright standing molecules forming a (2 x 4)rect unit cell. At about 450 K a partial desorption takes place and the remaining molecules form a dilute (4 x 2)-phase with an almost planar adsorption geometry, while further heating above 520 K causes a thermally induced fragmentation. According to their different densities both phases reveal very diverse chemical reactivities. Whereas the saturated monolayer is stable and inert under ambient conditions, the dilute phase does not warrant any protection of the sulfur headgroups which oxidize rapidly in air.
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