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ERIC Number: EJ1003197
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Dec
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 23
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
The Molecular Boat: A Hands-On Experiment to Demonstrate the Forces Applied to Self-Assembled Monolayers at Interfaces
Chan, Charlene J.; Salaita, Khalid
Journal of Chemical Education, v89 n12 p1547-1550 Dec 2012
Demonstrating how surface chemistry and self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) control the macroscopic properties of materials is challenging as it often necessitates the use of specialized instrumentation. In this hands-on experiment, students directly measure a macroscopic property, the floatation of glass coverslips on water as a function of modifying the terminal surface groups of the glass. The glass surface is chemically modified by the self-assembly of monomolecular layers formed by two organosilanes, 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane and 1-octadecyltrimethoxysilane, which change the water contact angles. These SAMs alter the ability of the modified glass to support a mass, thus demonstrating that the bulk material property can be directly controlled by molecular surface chemistry. (Contains 3 figures.)
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A