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The reagent APTES is a fairly common "ink" for microcontact printing, a technique that forms covalent bonds between the silanols found on the surface of the glass and the silane in the the APTES. It's also been demonstrated that the mono-layer then polymerizes somewhat, forming bonds between neighboring silanols.

  • What is the mechanism by which the printing and polymerization occur?
  • What is the reason for using APTES instead of a more reactive trichlorosilane?
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Here's two links (1, 2) that show the simple scheme on forming monolayers. The essential figure is also shown here.

Here is the essential figure from the latter paper if you don't have access

For the second part of your question... I can only point out this article that describes which properties change, if you make the molecules more bulky or add chloride, etc. I would guess that APTES has well known properties and they are "neutral" regarding common applications.

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