Photocatalytic Reduction of an Azide-Terminated Self-Assembled Monolayer Using CdS Quantum Dots

Ordered, tightly packed aryl-azide-terminated, self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) were created on gold substrates from a new disulfide precursor. These monolayers were reduced at least partially in an aqueous environment using ∼2 nm CdS quantum dots (Qdots) as photocatalysts to give mixed monolayers of arylamine- and aryl azide-terminated species. The CdS photocatalysts were made available for the reaction by exposure of the azide-terminated SAM to Qdots initially in solution or by preadsorption of the CdS nanoparticles on the SAM. In either case, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), grazing angle Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and contact angle measurements were used to show the occurrence of the photocatalytic reduction. As further evidence for the presence of arylamine-terminated thiolate in the reduced SAM, these arylamine groups were successfully tagged with fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC). The use of Qdot photocatalysts to functionalize surfaces may lead to a means to pattern surfaces at the nanoscale.