The Case of the Disappearing Monolayer: Alkylsilane Monolayer Formation, Oxidation, and Subsequent Transparency to Scanning Tunneling Microscopy



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An invisible monolayer? Oxidation of an octylsilane monolayer (see graphic) chemisorbed onto Au(111) yields two surprising results. The 23×equation image Au surface reconstruction typical of a clean gold surface forms underneath the siloxane monolayer. In addition, the physisorbed alkylsiloxane monolayer is transparent to scanning tunneling microscopy imaging.