Electrowetting of nitro-functionalized oligoarylene thiols self-assembled on polycrystalline gold

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2015 Feb 25;7(7):3902-9. doi: 10.1021/am509104z. Epub 2015 Feb 11.


Four linear terarylene molecules (i) 4-nitro-terphenyl-4″-methanethiol (NTM), (ii) 4-nitro-terphenyl-3″,5″-dimethanethiol (NTD), (iii) ([1,1';4',1″] terphenyl-3,5-diyl)methanethiol (TM), and (iv) ([1,1';4',1″] terphenyl-3,5-diyl)dimethanethiol (TD) have been synthesized and their self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) have been obtained on polycrystalline gold. NTM and NTD SAMs have been characterized by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, Kelvin probe measurements, electrochemistry, and contact angle measurements. The terminal nitro group (-NO2) is irreversibly reduced to hydroxylamine (-NHOH), which can be reversibly turned into nitroso group (-NO). The direct comparison between NTM/NTD and TM/TD SAMs unambiguously shows the crucial influence of the nitro group on electrowetting properties of polycrystalline Au. The higher grade of surface tension related to NHOH has been successfully exploited for basic operations of digital μ-fluidics, such as droplets motion and merging.

Keywords: conjugated thiols; electrochemistry; electrowetting on dielectrics; micro-electromechanical systems; nitro-terminated self-assembled monolayers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't