Characterization of organic adsorbates on model glass surfaces

D. L. Allara, Z. Wang, C. G. Pantano

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22 Scopus citations


Model silicate glasses in planar thin film structures are prepared using sol/gel techniques. A typical structure consists of 3.0-12.0 nm of glass on vapor deposited Ag. In this study, a pure silica and a 50/50 binary alumina-silica films are examined. Poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) is adsorbed from chlorobenzene solution onto the surfaces. Infrared reflection (IR) spectroscopy, ellipsometry and quartz oscillator microgravimetry (QOM) are applied to characterize the PMMA/silicate glass interfaces formed. The QOM and IR data show that PMMA adsorption on the pure silica surface is irreversible with respect to removal by pure solvent rinse while on the binary glass surface and on a pure alumina surface, solvent rinses remove the initially adsorbed polymer. These results are interpreted in terms of Bronsted acid-base interactions involving the basic properties of the PMMA CO group, the acidic nature of the silica and the more basic nature of the alumina containing surfaces. Further evidence for this interpretation is given by the IR spectral data which show broadening of the CO stretching mode to lower frequencies for the irreversible adsorbed polymer on silica as compared with simulated spectra of non-surface bonding PMMA thin films. This spectral perturbation is interpreted as evidence for a hydrogen bonding interaction between OH groups on the silica surface and the CO groups. The overall conclusion is that the surface of a 50/50 binary alumina-silica composition is dominated by the basic nature of alumina.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-101
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Non-Crystalline Solids
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Apr 1 1990

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Chemistry


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