Optically transparent, ultrathin Pt films as versatile metal substrates for molecular optoelectronics

Sabrina Conoci, Salvatore Petralia, Paolo Samorì, Françisco M. Raymo, Santo Di Bella, Salvatore Sortino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


This contribution reports a simple, straightforward method (cool sputtering) of fabricating robust, homogeneous, conductive, and optically transparent ultrathin Pt films. Their morphological, structural, mechanical, electrical, and optical properties are reported. The morphology and structure of these Pt films are investigated by scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, and X-ray diffraction. The ultrathin Pt films, approximately 20 nm thick, are characterized by a homogenous, polycrystalline structure, with a tendency to adopt a (111) texture upon the thermal treatment. Moreover, thermal treatment (annealing or flaming) of the as-prepared films also substantially improves their chemical and mechanical robustness. F films behave as bulk Pt in terms of electrical resistivity and suitability as working electrodes in cyclic voltammetry experiments. Overall, the unique combination of these excellent features: homogeneity, robustness, and conductivity, in addition to the high optical transparency in the 300-800 nm range of the electromagnetic spectrum, make ultrathin Pt films appropriate for a variety of applications in the field of molecular optoelectronics. The formation of functional molecular self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) on these transparent, conductive films allows their optical monitoring using transmission optical spectroscopy, as well as the probing of their electrical properties. The potential of such Pt films as suitable metal substrates in opto- and nanoelectronics is proven by representative applications, including switching of prototypical photochromic and electrochromic species in SAMs and molecule-metal junctions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1425-1432
Number of pages8
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jul 21 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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