Methods for the preparation of a stable, self-assembled monolayer on the silicon surface or metallic coating of a microcantilever are disclosed. The methods produce a microcantilever suitable as a chemical sensor. In a microcantilever produced using one version of the method, a metallic coating is disposed on a side of the microcantilever, a bridging atom is bonded to the metallic coating, a first spacer group is bonded to the bridging atom, a second spacer group is bonded to the bridging atom, and a chemical recognition agent is bonded to the first spacer group. In another version of the method, a silicon surface of a microcantilever is hydrogen terminated, and a calixarene chemical recognition agent is carbon linked to the silicon surface using photochemical hydrosilylation. Among other things, the calixarene may be bonded to a crown ether for ion detection or bonded to a area for the recognition of explosives by hydrogen bonding to nitro groups.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH
 This invention was made with United States Government support under Contract No. DE-AC05-00OR22725 between the United States Department of Energy and awarded to U.T. Battelle, LLC. The United States Government has certain rights in this invention.