The present invention provides a composite material including a substrate having an oxide surface, and, a continuous monolayer on the oxide surface, the monolayer including a silicon atom from a trifunctional alkyl/alkenyl/alkynyl silane group that attaches to the oxide surface, an alkyl/alkenyl/alkynyl portion of at least three carbon atoms, a polyalkylene glycol spacer group, and either a reactive site (e.g., a recognition ligand) or a site resistant to non-specific binding (e.g., a methoxy or the like) at the terminus of each modified SAM. The present invention further provides a sensor element, a sensor array and a method of sensing, each employing the composite material. Patterning is also provided together with backfilling to minimize non-specific binding.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERAL RIGHTS
 This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE-AC51-06NA25396 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.