The in Situ Characterization and Structuring of Electrografted Polyphenylene Films on Silicon Surfaces. An AFM and XPS Study

J Colloid Interface Sci. 2008 Dec 15;328(2):308-13. doi: 10.1016/j.jcis.2008.09.033. Epub 2008 Sep 18.


An atomic force microscope was used so as to structure by nanofriction films of polynitrophenylene electrografted on substrates of n-type silicon (100) with the native oxide on the top of the surface. AFM measurements of thin films thickness have been carried out in the electrolytic solution for different applied potentials during the electrografting. This investigation allows (i) to determine the relationship between the applied potential and the final thickness of electrografted polyphenylene films and (ii) to specify how the thin layers grow. XPS analysis confirmed the AFM observations on (i) the effective shaving of the grafted polymer chains under mechanical stress and (ii) the existence of a potential threshold for electrografting a polyphenylene film on silicon oxide surfaces. The presence of a residual film in the rubbed zone was attributed to stronger interactions between the first electrografted layer and the native oxide of silicon (through Si-C or/and Si-O-C bonds) than those insuring the cohesion of the multilayer (C-C and C-N bonds).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Electrochemistry
  • Microscopy, Atomic Force
  • Molecular Structure
  • Polymers / chemistry*
  • Silicon / chemistry*
  • Spectrometry, X-Ray Emission
  • Surface Properties


  • Polymers
  • polyphenylene sulfide
  • Silicon