To improve the efficiencies of electronic devices, materials with variable work functions are required to decrease the energy level differences at the interfaces between working layers. Here, we report a method to obtain silver nanoparticles with tunable work functions, which have the same silver core of 5 nm in diameter and are capped by myristates and 1-octanethoilates self-assembled monolayers, respectively. The silver nanoparticles capped by organic molecules can form a uniform two-dimensional sheet at air-water interface, and the sheet can be transferred on various hydrophobic substrates. The surface potential of the two-dimensional nanoparticle sheet was measured in terms of Kelvin probe force microscopy, and the work function of the sheet was then calculated from the surface potential value by comparing with a reference material. The exchange of the capping molecules results in a work function change of approximately 150-250 meV without affecting their hydrophobicity. We systematically discussed the origin of the work function difference and found it should come mainly from the anchor groups of the ligand molecules. The organic molecule capped nanoparticles with tunable work functions have a potential for the applications in organic electronic devices.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)