Molecular electroactive monolayers have been produced from vinylferrocene (VFC) via light-assisted surface anchoring to H-terminated n- and p-Si(100) wafers prepared via wet chemistry, in a controlled atmosphere. The resulting Si-C bound hybrids have been characterized by means of XPS and AFM. Their performance as semiconductor functionalized electrodes and their surface composition have been followed by combining electrochemical and XPS measurements on the same samples, before and after use in an electrochemical cell. White-light photoactivated anchoring at short (I h) exposure times has resulted in a mild route, with a very limited impact on the initial quality of the silicon substrate. In fact, the functionalized Si surface results negligibly oxidized, and the C/Fe atomic ratio is close to the value expected for the pure molecular species. The VFC/Si hybrids can be described as (eta(5) -C5H5)Fe2+(eta(5)- C5H4)-CH2-CH2-Si species, on the basis of XPS results. Electrochemical methods have been applied in order to investigate the role played by a robust, covalent Si-C anchoring mode towards substrate-molecule electronic communication, a crucial issue for a perspective development of molecular electronics devices. The response found from cyclic voltammograms for p-Si(100) functionalized electrodes, run in the dark and under illumination, has shown that the electron transfer is not limited by the number of charge carriers, confirming the occurrence of electron transfer via the Si valence band. The hybrids have shown a noticeable electrochemical stability and reversibility under cyclic voltammetry (cv), and the trend in peak current intensity vs. the scan rate was linear. The molecule-Si bond is preserved even after thousands of voltammetric cycles, although the surface coverage, evaluated from cv and XPS, decreases in the same sequence. An increasingly larger surface concentration of Fe3+ at the expenses of Fe (2+) redox centers has found at increasing number of cv's, experimentally associated with the growth of silicon oxide. Surface SiO- groups from deprotonated silanol termination, induced by the electrochemical treatments, are proposed as the associated counterions for the Fe3+ species. They could be responsible for the observed decrease in the electron transfer rate constant with electrode ageing. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Molecular electroactive monolayers formed on Si(100) by wet chemistry functionalization: an AFM, XPS and electrochemical study / Zanoni, Robertino; A., Aurora; F., Cattaruzza; C., Coluzza; E. A., Dalchiele; F., Decker; G., Di Santo; Marrani, Andrea Giacomo. - 575:3(2005), pp. 260-272. ((Intervento presentato al convegno E-MRS 2005 Spring Meeting tenutosi a Strasbourg; France nel May 31 to June 3, 2005.