The Mechanical Response of Gold Substrates Passivated by Self-Assembling Monolayer Films

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Science  26 Mar 1993:
Vol. 259, Issue 5103, pp. 1883-1885
DOI: 10.1126/science.259.5103.1883


Interfacial force microscopy has been used to show that a single layer of self-assembling molecules adsorbed on a gold substrate can prevent adhesion between gold and a tungsten probe. The passivated gold is able to elastically support large repulsive loads, with plots of load versus deformation closely following the Hertzian model. The gold shear-stress threshold for plastic deformation is determined to be ∼1 gigapascal, which is in agreement with the theoretical value for the intrinsic gold-lattice stability.