Thermodynamics of Alkanethiol Self-Assembled Monolayer Assembly on Pd Surfaces

Gaurav Kumar, Timothy Van Cleve, Jiyun Park, Adri Van Duin, J. Will Medlin, Michael J. Janik

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10 Scopus citations


We investigate the structure and binding energy of alkanethiolate self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) on Pd (111), Pd (100), and Pd (110) facets at different coverages. Dispersion-corrected density functional theory calculations are used to correlate the binding energy of alkanethiolates with alkyl chain length and coverage. The equilibrium coverage of thiolate layers strongly prefers 1/3 monolayer (ML) on the Pd (111) surface. The coverage of thiolates varies with chemical potential on Pd (100) and Pd (110), increasing from 1/3 to 1/2 ML on (100) and from 1/4 to 1/2 ML on (110) as the thiol chemical potential is increased. Higher coverages are driven by attractive dispersion interactions between the extended alkyl chains, such that transitions to higher coverages occur at lower thiol chemical potentials for longer chain thiolates. Stronger adsorption to the Pd (100) surface causes the equilibrium Wulff construction of Pd particles to take on a cubic shape upon saturation with thiols. The binding of H, O, and CO adsorbates is weakened as the thiolate coverage is increased, with saturation coverages causing unfavorable binding of O and CO on Pd (100) and weakened binding on other facets. Temperature-dependent CO diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy experiments are used to corroborate the weakened binding of CO in the presence of thiolate SAMs of varying surface density. Preliminary results of multiscale modeling efforts on the Pd-thiol system using a reactive force field, ReaxFF, are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6346-6357
Number of pages12
Issue number22
StatePublished - Jun 5 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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