Anti-fouling surfaces are of great importance for reducing background interference in biosensor signals. Oligo(ethylene glycol) (OEG) moieties are commonly used to confer protein resistance on gold, silicon and carbon surfaces. Herein, we report the modification of surfaces using electrochemical deposition of OEG aryl diazonium salts. Using electrochemical and contact angle measurements, the ligand packing density is found to be loose, which supports the findings of the fluorescent protein labelling that aryl diazonium OEGs confer resistance to nonspecific adsorption of proteins albeit lower than alkane thiol-terminated OEGs. In addition to protein resistance, aryl diazonium attachment chemistry results in stable modification. In common with OEG species on gold electrodes, OEGs with distal hydroxyl moieties do confer superior protein resistance to those with a distal methoxy group. This is especially the case for longer derivatives where superior coiling of the OEG chains is possible.
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