Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Engineering Design, Manufacturing and Management Systems

First Advisor

Dr. Valdimir Tsukruk

Second Advisor

Dr. Pnina Ari-Gur

Third Advisor

Dr. John B. Miller

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Dense, homogeneous, and complete self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) with epoxy surface groups were fabricated from epoxysilanes to serve as a template for chemical anchoring of polymer layers. A combination of scanning probe microscopy, ellipsometry, XPS, X-ray reflectivity, and contact angle measurements was used to study their morphology and surface properties. Self-assembly of epoxysilane molecules resulted in the formation of homogeneous SAMs 0.85 nm thick with the rms surface roughness 0.2 nm. Epoxysilane SAMs were truly monomolecular films with a virtually normal molecular orientation of densely packed molecules, which were firmly attached to the substrate.

Carboxylic acid and anhydride terminated polystyrenes of different molecular weights from 4500 to 672000 were grafted from melt onto silicon substrates modified with epoxysilane monolayer. The grafted chains are densely packed with a density close to the known value for the bulk material. The tethered polymer layers are very smooth, uniform and cover homogeneously the modified silicon. At the degree of polymerization (N) close to the critical molecular weight, the grafting process is the most effective resulting in the grafted unperturbed macromolecules.