Physical vapor deposition of [EMIM][Tf2N]: a new approach to the modification of surface properties with ultrathin ionic liquid films.

Research paper by Till T Cremer, Manuela M Killian, J Michael JM Gottfried, Natalia N Paape, Peter P Wasserscheid, Florian F Maier, Hans-Peter HP Steinrück

Indexed on: 11 Oct '08Published on: 11 Oct '08Published in: ChemPhysChem


Ultrathin films of the ionic liquid (IL) 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide, [EMIM][Tf(2)N], are prepared on a glass substrate by means of an in situ thermal-evaporation/condensation process under ultrahigh-vacuum conditions. By using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), it is demonstrated that the first layer of the IL film grows two dimensionally, followed by the three-dimensional growth of successive layers. The first molecular layer consists of a bilayer, with the [EMIM](+) cations in contact to the surface and the [Tf(2)N](-) anions at the vacuum side. The ultrathin IL films are found to be stable under ambient conditions.