Adsorption and desorption processes of self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) have been studied on an Au(111) surface by scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM), atomic force microscopy (AFM). X-ray photo-electron spectroscopy (XPS) and thermal desorption spectroscopy (TDS). At the initial growth stage, the ordered nucleation of SAM located at the herringbone turns of the Au(111)-(22×√3) surface reconstruction and diffusion-controlled domain formation have been imaged by STM and AFM. Details of the oxidation process in UV desorption were also investigated by XPS. In addition, the dimerization reaction during desorption was confirmed by TDS for the first time in the alkanethiol SAM system.
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