Poly(ferrocenylsilanes) (PFS) belong to the class of redox responsive organometallic polymers. Atomic force microscopy (AFM)-based single molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS) was used earlier to study single chain PFS response and redox energy driven single chain PFS molecular motors. Here we present further AFM investigations of force interactions between tip and a grafted PFS surface under potential control in electrochemical redox cycles. Typical tip–Au interaction is considered as reference in the force measurements. First the electrostatic component in the diffused double layer (DL) in NaClO4 electrolyte environment was considered for a “grafted to” PFS, which dominated the interplay between the tip and sample surface. The DL forces can also hinder the physisorption of PFS chain onto the tip when the voltage was applied at −0.1 V. On the other hand, if the tip contacted the PFS surface prior to the electrochemical process, physisorption of PFS chains governed the overall interaction regardless of subsequently applied surface potential. In addition, prolonged contact time, tc, may also contribute to the stability of tip–PFS bridging and detection of electrostatic forces between the tip–PFS interface. The results showed that tip–substrate interaction forces without PFS grafts have negligibly small force contributions under similar, electrochemically controlled, conditions used in single PFS chain based molecular motors.
- Poly(ferrocenylsilane) (PFS)
- AFM force spectroscopy