The innovation engine for new materials

Chris Ryder

Chris Ryder


University of California Santa Barbara



Site Abroad: 

Department of Materials, University of Oxford


Olga Shvarova

Faculty Sponsor(s): 

Martin Castell

Project Title: 

STM of the Self-Assembly of Cytosine on AU(III) Surface

Project Description: 

The self-assembly of nucleobases adsorbed on a surface is the result of a delicate balance between intermolecular and adsorbate-substrate interactions. This process is thought to have contributed to the emergence of genetic coding and therefore the origin of life. In this study, scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) was conducted on cytosine monolayers formed on an inert Au(III) surface. Ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) and low temperature conditions were used to maintain a clean surface and stabilize the supramolecular network. At coverages below one monolayer, cytosine was observed to form a random network. The STM images obtained of cytosine on Au(III) will serve as a useful reference for future studies of the coadsorption of the base pairs cytosine and guanine as well as studies conducted using a chemically active substrate.