Monolayer thin films with ethylene-glycol function onto gold surfaces by using thiols have been extensively investigated. They have been proposed as precursors for applications to bio-detection, where their hydrophilic character improves both specificity and sensitivity. The aim of this letter is to characterize ethylene-glycol monolayer precursors formed onto silicon chips by using silanes. The importance of the ethylene-glycol function is demonstrated by comparing with the well known 3-Aminopropyltriethoxysilane. The different nano-scale structures of the two precursor monolayers are investigated by using atomic force microscopy (AFM). Longer, wider, and deeper grooves were measured in the images acquired on 3-Aminopropyltriethoxysilane. Fluorescence investigation demonstrates that the presence of ethylene-glycol function improves target hybridization onto silicon chips, assuring highly-specific detection of DNA.