Self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of ω-substituted biphenylthiolates (ω-MBP) on gold were characterized by spectral ellipsometry, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), infrared reflection absorption spectroscopy (IRRAS), and vibrational sum frequency generation spectroscopy (VSFG). The vibrational studies of the SAMs were supported by an ab initio frequency analysis at HF/6-31G and BP86/6-31G levels, yielding an assignment of all relevant spectral features in the range from 3500 to 1200 cm -1. We were able to demonstrate that hydroxy-terminated MBP (HMBP) SAMs are basically featureless in the range of the CH stretching vibrations. Accordingly, the adsorption of a SAM of octadecyltrichlorosilane (OTS) on top of this model surface could be studied. A red shift of the C-O stretching vibration from 1281 to 1264 cm -1 was observed during the chemisorption of OTS, thus allowing for a quantification of the number of OTS molecules involved in surface binding of OTS, which was found to be about 26% on average.