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Exploring Atomic Force Microscopy To Probe Charge Transport Through Molecular Films And For The Development Of Combinatorial Force Microscopy Open Access


Other title
atomic force microscopy
force microscopy
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Chisholm, Roderick A.
Supervisor and department
McDermott, Mark (Chemistry)
Examining committee member and department
Harrison, Jed (Chemistry)
McCreery, Richard (Chemistry)
Brett, Michael (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Veinot, Jon (Chemistry)
Frisbie, Daniel (Chemical Engineering and Material Science, University of Minnesota )
McDermott, Mark (Chemistry)
Department of Chemistry

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Since the invention of the atomic force microscope (AFM), this technology has had profound implications in the study of material science and molecular biology. The ability to visualize and perform quantitative analysis of the nanoscale properties of surfaces has provided great insights into these nanoscale landscapes. The present dissertation manuscript exploits this technology for the measurement of charge transport through molecular films and the development of combinatorial force microscopy. Firstly, this work probed, for the first time, charge transport through molecular films derived from diazonium salts grafted to carbon electrodes using conductive atomic force microscopy. We found the charge transport properties of a molecular junction are dependent upon the chemical structure of the molecular film. We also investigated the effect of molecular film compression and deformation has on charge transport. In this, we observed increases in current densities associated with increases in applied load to the molecular film. Furthering these initial findings, PPF/NAB/Cu molecular junctions were fabricated having junction sizes ranging between micro-scale and nanoscale. The charge transport experiments reveal an agreement of electron transport properties between the metal deposited PPF/NAB/Cu junction and a PPF/NAB/Cu AFM tip junction at an applied load of approximately 60nN. This form of molecular layer charge transport control may potentially open new horizons for integration of molecular films into the microelectronics industry. This dissertation manuscript also describes the development of the quantitative interrogation opposing chemical libraries involved in combinatorial inverted atomic force microscopy. Tipless cantilever’s were patterned with chemically modified nanorods. These modified nanorods were then used as chemical identifiers during a combinatorial force microscopy experiment and for the first time 16 interactions were monitored within one experiment in a continuous medium. Thus, providing excellent for the validation that combi-AFM is a truly quantitative high-throughput technology.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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