The structural evolution of 1-mercapto-2-propanol layer on An(1 1 1) during a treatment in a N-2 flow was investigated using STM and cyclic voltammetry. The pristine layer showed a striped structure of (2root3 x root3) with coverage of 0.33. As the SAM was treated in the N-2 flow, the superlattice evolved sequentially and irreversibly to the structures of (root21 x root3) and (root3 x root3)R30degrees without any coverage change and ultimately to amorphous domains with coverage less than 0.33. In cyclic voltammetric studies, it was found that the coverage of 1-mercapto-2-propanol was 0.33 and that the N-2 treatment induced a partial desorption of the adsorbed thiol molecules. In addition to this, the reductive stripping potential shifted to the anodic direction. signaling that the SAM of 1-mercapto-2-propanol became unstable. The structural evolution and destabilization of the 1-mercapto-2-propanol layer on Au(1 1 1) was discussed m terms of the attractive force between the OH groups via hydrogen bonding and the repulsive force between the methyl groups. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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