The rapid formation of functional monolayers on silicon under mild conditions
We report on an exceedingly mild chemical functionalization of hydrogen-terminated Si(100) with unactivated and unprotected bifunctional α,ω-dialkynes. Monolayer formation occurs rapidly in the dark, and at room temperature, from dilute solutions of an aromatic-conjugated acetylene. The method addresses the poor reactivity of p-type substrates under mild conditions. We suggest the importance of several factors, including an optimal orientation for electron transfer between the adsorbate and the Si surface, conjugation of the acetylenic function with a π-system, as well as the choice of a solvent system that favors electron transfer and screens Coulombic interactions between surface holes and electrons. The passivated Si(100) electrode is amenable to further functionalization and shown to be a viable model system for redox studies at non-oxide semiconductor electrodes in aqueous solutions.