2006 Volume 22 Issue 4 Pages 521-527
The molecular interaction force of the intermonolayer hydrogen bonding between phenylurea groups on a probe tip and carboxyl groups in self-assembled monolayers was measured directly by means of atomic force microscopy in ethanol. Gold-coated AFM probe tips were modified chemically with 2-(N′-phenylureido)ethanethiol possessing a terminal urea moiety, which is a well-known powerful functionality for forming stable hydrogen bondings with neutral and anionic species. Adhesion force measurements were carried out on gold substrates coated with a COOH-terminated SAM composed of 6-mercaptohexanoic acid in ethanol using the phenylurea-functionalized probe tip. The adhesion force observed was decreased in the presence of H2PO4- in the measurement bath, indicating that the intermonolayer hydrogen bonding between the phenylurea moieties and carboxyl groups attached covalently to the probe tip and substrate, respectively, is suppressed by the anion added to the measurement solution. The specific hydrogen-bonding force was measured on binary mixed SAMs prepared by mixing 6-mercaptohexanoic acid with 1-hexanethiol. The individual hydrogen-bonding force between the phenylurea-modified tip and the binary mixed SAMs with various fractions of MHA was evaluated by repetitive force measurements and their statistical analyses by an autocorrelation method. We discuss the effect of diluting the COOH-terminated component in the mixed SAM on the adhesion force and the single force between the phenylurea and carboxyl groups in terms of competition between intermonolayer and intramonolayer hydrogen bonding.