Toward two-dimensional hybrid organic-inorganic materials based on a I-PE/UHV-PVD system for exceptional corrosion protection

  • 01 Sep 2021
  • Recently published Research - Pharmacy


Wail Al Zoubi , Abdul Wahab Allaf, Bassem Assfour, Young Gun Ko

Published in

Applied Materials Today, Volume 24 (September 2021), Article 101142, Available online 24 August 2021.


 The combination of inorganic thin films with highly functionalized organic molecules has been desired for state-of-the-art applications in electrochemistry and catalytic science. To address this need, we re- port a rapid, new strategy to fabricate functionalized two-dimensional hybrid organic-inorganic (2D HOI) materials through the combination of interface-plasma electrolysis (I-PE) with ultrahigh-vacuum physi- cal vapor deposition (UHV-PVD), where benzene-1.3.5-tricarboxylic acid (BTC) was used as the organic compound. We demonstrate growth control of organic thin films assembled by reaction sites in BTC molecules, such as carbonyl groups and hydroxyl groups, on a porous inorganic layer. Beginning with a defective surface and organic molecules, we rely on the evaporation of BTC molecules during UHV- PVD to induce layer-by-layer (LbL) deposition, i.e.., consecutive formation of multilayers of the organic constituents on 2D HOI materials. DFT calculations were carried out to understand the organic-inorganic interfaces, the adsorption behavior, bonding, and the energetics between BTC molecules and the inorganic surface. Theoretical calculations reveal a robust reciprocal interaction between parallel adsorption config- urations of BTC molecules and neighboring MgO layer, facilitated by the formation of a BTC….MgO bond. More interestingly, upon contact with reactive solution, the molecules in the self-assembled multilayers rearranged to a flower-like structure with holes (diameter > 100 nm), which facilitated the corrosive penetration of the magnesium substrate. Finally, on the basis of impedance results, we conclude that the fabricated 2D HOI materials exhibit exceptional corrosion protection.

Keywords: Hybrid Organic Inorganic Physical deposition Plasma electrolysis Electrochemistry.

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