• Self-assembled monolayers;
  • Nanotechnology;
  • Integrated molecular systems;
  • Electrochemical sensors;
  • Alkanethiols;
  • Microcontact printing;
  • Dip-pen lithography;
  • Nanoshaving;
  • Metal-ion detection;
  • Enzymes;
  • DNA;
  • Nanoparticles;
  • Dendrimers;
  • Nanotubes;
  • Molecular wires


The modification of an interface on a molecular level with more than one molecular ‘building block' is essentially an example of the ‘bottom–up' fabrication principle of nanotechnology. The fabrication of such integrated molecular systems in electrochemistry has seen rapid progress in recent years via the development of sensing interfaces fabricated using self-assembled monolayers (SAMs). This review outlines recent advances and applications of self-assembled monolayers for modifying electrodes with an emphasis on the development of integrated molecular systems. First, some basic issues regarding fabricating integrated molecular systems, such as the role of the surface topography of the electrode and patterning surfaces, are discussed. Subsequently an overview of recent developments in pH, inorganic and bio sensing involving the use of SAMs is given. Finally emerging trends in using molecular building blocks in the fabrication of integrated molecular systems, such as nanotubes, dendrimers and nanoparticles, are reviewed.