Delamination between self-assembled monolayers
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Self-assembled monolayers are adsorbed onto substrates without any external guidance. They are highly ordered and closely packed, and modify the physical and chemical properties of the surface onto which they are adsorbed. For this reason, self-assembled monolayers are of critical importance in many areas such as MEMs or biomedical applications. They have been extensively studied for the past twenty-five years. Nevertheless, the delamination between two self-assembled monolayers had not been studied before. The following thesis presents in the first chapter the process used to create self-assembled monolayers terminated by carboxyl groups or amine groups on Si(111). The fracture experiments were designed to be performed in an Ultra High Vacuum environment with a four-point bending configuration. The design and the construction of the loading device, including the Ultra High Vacuum chamber, are described in the second section. Finally, the analysis of the delamination between self-assembled monolayers using a semi-analytical method and a finite element method is presented. SAMs were fabricated but did not show strong enough adhesion forces to be used for fracture experiments thus mica was used to test the loading device. Future research will be done using stronger binding techniques such as covalent binding.