Modification of Oxide Surfaces with Functional Organic Molecules, Nanoparticles, and Hetero-Oxide Layers

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (compilation)


The research work described in this thesis is concerned with the modification of oxide surfaces, as reflected by its title. The surfaces and their modification have been studied using a range of experimental surface characterization tools, in particular x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), fluorescence microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, and scanning tunneling microscopy.
A large part of the thesis is related to the modification of oxide or metal surfaces with nanoparticles. In particular, three different immobilization schemes for the coupling of molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) nanoparticles to silicon oxide (SiO2) and gold surfaces were designed and characterized at every step. The first method reports the immobilization of MIPs using a photo-coupling agent in combination with an aminosilane compound. The second method explores an epoxysilane-based coupling agent to directly anchor the nucleophilic core-shell MIP nanoparticle to the surface. Both methods were proven to be non-destructive towards the specific binding sites of the MIP nanoparticles. The third scheme offers the immobilization of nucleophilic core-shell nanoparticles on model gold surfaces using self-assembled monolayers of 11-mercaptoundecanoic acid activated by carbodiimide/N-hydroxysuccinimide. All three coupling methods are quite versatile and can be used in biosensors to couple functional nano-objects with transducer surfaces. In addition to these investigation directly aimed at the immobilization of nanopartciles, more fundamentally oriented studies were carried out on the modification of the rutile TiO2(110) surface with silane molecules to obtain a detailed understanding of adsorption mechanism and geometry of these silanes.
The deposition of a different type of nanopartciles, block copolymer reverse micelles loaded gold nanoparticles, on a titanium dioxide surface was tested using electrospray deposition. The study demonstrates that electrospray deposition is a viable method for depositing metal single-size metal nanoparticles onto a surface in vacuum, thereby retaining the clean vacuum conditions. Furthermore, it was shown that the removal of the block copolymer shell after deposition can be achieved both by atomic oxygen and an oxygen plasma, with the atomic oxygen being somewhat more efficient. Overall, it was demonstrated that a TiO2 surface decorated with narrow sized gold nanoparticles could be created, a result of importance in the catalysis domain.
The last part of the thesis is concerned with the true in-situ investigation of growth of hetero-oxide layers on oxide surfaces from metal precursors. Tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS) was used as precursor for the chemical vapor deposition of silicon oxide on rutile TiO2(110). The growth was monitored in real time using ambient pressure XPS (APXPS), which revealed the dissociative adsorption with the formation of new species in the presence of a TEOS gas phase reservoir. Annealing results in the formation of SiO2 and of a mixed titanium/silicon oxide. Furthermore, tetrakis(dimethylamino)titanium was employed in the atomic layer deposition (ALD) of TiO2 on RuO2. The APXPS results showed evidence was for side reactions beyond the idealized scheme of ALD.


  • Shilpi Chaudhary
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics


  • Fysicumarkivet A:2015:Chaudhary
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Assistant supervisor
Award date2015 Jun 9
  • Department of Physics, Lund University
Print ISBNs978-91-7623-330-6
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

Defence details Date: 2015-06-09 Time: 10:15 Place: Rydberg Lecture Hall at the Department of Physics External reviewer(s) Name: Valden, Mika Title: [unknown] Affiliation: Optoelectronics Research Centre, Tampere University of Technology, Finland ---

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