The design, synthesis, and use of phosphonic acids for the surface modification of metal oxides
Hotchkiss, Peter J.
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Phosphonic acids are known to bind strongly to a variety of metal oxide surfaces. Phosphonic acids were designed in order to impart specific properties to the surface of a range of metal oxides upon formation of a monolayer. A large number of novel phosphonic acids were synthesized and fully characterized. The binding of phosphonic acids to the surface of several metal oxides, such as indium tin oxide (ITO) and barium titanate, was studied in detail and determined to be a mixture of bidentate and tridentate binding modes. The modification of several key surface properties of ITO by phosphonic acid modification was also studied. The work function of ITO could be increased or decreased with respect to unmodified ITO by controlling the dipole of phosphonic acids bound to the surface. Additionally, the surface energy could be substantially lowered by attaching phosphonic acids with non-polar terminal functional groups to the ITO surface. The ability to control these surface properties resulted in organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) which showed superior lifetimes and stability with respect to OLEDs incorporating ITO without a phosphonic acid monolayer. In addition, the binding of phosphonic acids to a number of other oxides, such as zinc oxide and zeolites, was also studied.