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The Water–Hydrophobic Interface: Neutral and Charged Solute Adsorption at Fluorocarbon and Hydrocarbon Self-Assembled Monolayers (SAMs)

Volume 67, Number 3 (March 2013) Page 261-273

ADAM J. HOPKINS* and GERALDINE L. RICHMOND*


Adsorption of small molecular solutes in an aqueous solution to a soft hydrophobic surface is a topic relevant to many fields. In biological and industrial systems, the interfacial environment is often complex, containing an array of salts and organic compounds in the solution phase. Additionally, the surface itself can have a complex structure that can interact in unpredictable ways with small solutes in its vicinity. In this work, we studied model adsorption processes on hydrocarbon and fluorocarbon self-assembled monolayers by using vibrational sum frequency spectroscopy, with methanol and butylammonium chloride as adsorbates. The results indicate that differences in surface functionality have a significant impact on the organization of adsorbed organic species at hydrophobic surfaces.



Index Headings: Interface; Water; Methanol; Amine; Sum frequency; Surfactant.