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Simple direct formation of self-assembled N-heterocyclic carbene monolayers on gold and their application in biosensing

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Cathleen Crudden, Hugh Horton, Mina Narouz, Zhijun Li, Christene Smith, Kim Munro, Christopher John Baddeley, Christian Rodriguez Larrea, Benedict Drevniok, Bheeshmon Thanabalasingam, Alastair Maclean, Olena Zenkina, Iraklii Ebralidze, Zhe She, Heinz-Bernhard Kraatz, Nicholas Mosey, Lisa Saunders, Akiko Yagi

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The formation of organic films on gold employing N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs) has been previously shown to be a useful strategy for generating stable organic films. However, NHCs or NHC precursors typically require inert atmosphere and harsh conditions for their generation and use. Herein we describe the use of benzimidazolium hydrogen carbonates as bench stable solid precursors for the preparation of NHC films in solution or by vapour-phase deposition from the solid state. The ability to prepare these films by vapour-phase deposition permitted the analysis of the films by a variety of surface science techniques, resulting in the first measurement of NHC desorption energy (158±10 kJ mol−1) and confirmation that the NHC sits upright on the surface. The use of these films in surface plasmon resonance-type biosensing is described, where they provide specific advantages versus traditional thiol-based films.


Original languageEnglish
Article number12654
JournalNature Communications
StatePublished - 2 Sep 2016

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