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Smooth Modified Surfaces of Silicon for the Study of Ionic Liquid Interfaces by Neutron Reflectometry...

by Jeffrey Klein, Hanyu Wang, Robert L Sacci, James F Browning, Burcu Gurkan
Publication Type
Journal Name
ACS Applied Electronic Materials
Publication Date
Page Numbers
2217 to 2226

Silicon surfaces with termination of hydrogen (H–Si), quartz, native silicon (native-Si), and chemically deposited (Au–Si)cd and sputtered gold (Au–Si)s were fabricated with roughness less than 6 Å to study the solid–liquid interface of the ionic liquid (IL) methyltrioctylammonium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide, [N1888][TFSI], by neutron reflectometry (NR). The modifications made to the silicon surface were to obtain a native positive or negative charge similar to a charged surface in electrochemical systems. The differences in scattering length density (SLD) based on mass density and composition of IL were examined. Perpendicular to the substrate surface, a distinct transition between the first ion layer and the bulk liquid is resolved out of the reflectivity data for the gold surfaces and in particular the chemically deposited Au–Si. Other interfaces are best described by a diffuse transition between regions of different SLDs. The diffuse transitions between SLDs observed here suggest that the interfacial structure of IL, while ordered, is best described by a continuous variation in composition as opposed to distinct layers of ions.