Octadecyltrichlorosilane (OTS) and [2-(perfluorooctyl)ethyl]trichlorosilane (FOETS) monolayers and their mixed monolayer were polymerized on a water subphase and subsequently immobilized onto a silicon wafer surface by covalent bonding. Atomic force microscopic (AFM) observation of the mixed (OTS/FOETS) monolayer revealed the formation of a phase-separated structure. Protein-adsorption behavior onto the monolayers was investigated in situ on the basis of an attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FT-IR) spectroscopic flow cell method and the morphology of the monolayer surface-adsorbed bovine serum albumin (BSA) was observed by AFM. Protein adsorption behavior observed by ATR-FT-IR flow cell method revealed that the amount of BSA adsorption onto the OTS and FOETS monolayers increased remarkably at an initial experimental stage and attained a steady state within a few minutes at pH 7.5. The amount of steady state adsorption was c. 0.18-0.2 microgcm(-2). AFM observation of the monolayer after exposure to BSA solution suggested that BSA adsorbed in the end-on adsorption state on OTS monolayer and side-on one in the FOETS monolayer, respectively. However, in the case of the mixed (OTS/FOETS) monolayer, ATR-FT-IR flow cell experiment revealed that the amount of steady state adsorption of BSA was suppressed. Also, AFM observation revealed that at pH 7.5, BSA preferentially adsorbed onto the FOETS phase of the mixed (OTS/FOETS) monolayer, which had a higher interfacial free energy against water. On the other hand, BSA adsorbed homogeneously onto the OTS and FOETS phases at the isoelectric point of BSA (pH 4.7). These results indicate that the preferential adsorption of BSA onto the FOETS phase in the mixed (OTS/FOETS) monolayer system is due to: (1) the minimization of the interfacial free energy between a monolayer surface and an aqueous solution; and (2) the electrostatic repulsion between BSA molecules bearing negative charges.