The cover illustrates two-step fabrication of metal micro- and nanostructures on self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) by pulsed laser deposition and electroless deposition. Metal–SAM–metal junctions are a key component of molecular electronic devices. Pt was deposited in a micropattern by pulsed laser deposition through a stencil. XPS maps show how the Pt pattern is developed into a Cu pattern using electroless deposition as reported by Ravoo, Brugger, Reinhoudt, Blank, and co-workers on p. 1337. The Cu pattern can also be observed by optical microscopy (background).
Patterns of noble-metal structures on top of self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) on Au and SiO2 substrates have been prepared following two approaches. The first approach consists of pulsed laser deposition (PLD) of Pt, Pd, Au, or Cu through nano- and microstencils. In the second approach, noble-metal cluster patterns deposited through nano- and microstencils are used as catalysts for selective electroless deposition (ELD) of Cu. Cu structures are grown on SAMs on both Au and SiO2 substrates and are subsequently analyzed using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy element mapping, atomic force microscopy, and optical microscopy. The combination of PLD through stencils on SAMs followed by ELD is a new method for the creation of (sub)-micrometer-sized metal structures on top of SAMs. This method minimizes the gas-phase deposition step, which is often responsible for damage to, or electrical shorts through, the SAM.