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Thermal Transformations and Low Energy Electron Irradiation of 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene on Au(111) Surfaces and on Alkanethiol SAMs

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Title: Thermal Transformations and Low Energy Electron Irradiation of 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene on Au(111) Surfaces and on Alkanethiol SAMs
Author: Vandergust, Ann
Department: Department of Chemistry
Program: Chemistry
Advisor: Rowntree, Paul
Abstract: This thesis investigates the application of low energy electron irradiation to 1,3,5-trimethylbenzene films to test whether site-selective C–H bond cleavage can be achieved in a molecule presenting both aliphatic and aromatic target sites. IRRAS was used to characterize the orientation of vapour-deposited 1,3,5-trimethylbenzene on Au(111) and alkanethiolated gold under UHV and cryogenic conditions. On both substrates, the disordered as-deposited films were transformed by thermal treatment, producing two film structures – within the first 4-monolayers, aromatic rings lie nearly parallel to the metal surface, while molecules in additional layers are more upright. Low energy electron irradiation (0-10 eV) produced no dissociations in 1,3,5-trimethylbenzene; however, low energy electron transmission spectra indicate charge accumulates at interstitial sites in the mesitylene film, decelerating subsequent incident electrons. These decelerated electrons traverse the charged film and are reaccelerated, inducing dissociations in the underlying SAM. Contrary to literature claims, 1,3,5-trimethylbezene is a poor molecule for adsorption studies such as BET as the initial adsorption is disordered and thermodynamically unstable.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/6374
Date: 2013-04


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