Faculty Advisor

Thalladi, Venkat R.


The objective of this project is to devise a simple method that enables the creation of self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) on gold exhibiting a large variety of head groups. Initially, the SAMs were synthesized in the traditional manner, which involved (i) conversion of a bromoalkanoic acid to an amide with a designated head group, (ii) conversion of the bromo group to a thiol, and (iii) creation of a SAM. The fabrication of SAMs using this approach proved to be time-consuming due to a three-step synthetic procedure and a lengthy purification sequence. In order to overcome these disadvantages, an on-board approach is tested. This approach consisted of creating a SAM of mercaptoundecanoic acid on gold and then incorporating the designated head group in-situ. It exemplified a significant shortening of reaction time and eliminated the need for purification. The resulting onboard SAMs, as well as SAMs created from the traditional approach, were characterized by cyclic voltammetry, grazing-incidence IR, and contact angle measurements. In the near future, this onboard approach will be used in a combinatorial exploration of thin films toward selective nucleation and crystal growth of pharmaceutical polymorphs.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

January 2004



Project Type

Major Qualifying Project


Restricted-WPI community only

Advisor Department

Chemistry and Biochemistry