Preparation, characterization and application of protective phosphonic acid monolayers formed by 1-Aminohexyl phosphonic acid (AHP), 1,4-butanediphosphonic acid (BDPA), 1-amino-1,3-dimethylbutyl phosphonic acid (ADBP) on copper surface as anticorrosive self-assembled molecular monolayers (SAMs) have been investigated by atomic force microscopy (AFM) analysis, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and in situ electrochemical quartz crystal microbalance (EQCM) techniques. Film formation and growth were monitored by EQCM and the step-by-step construction of monolayer was investigated through measurement of the frequency change, which corresponds to mass change due to the adsorption of molecules. Observed increase in electrode mass suggests that SAMs formed on copper surface by the adsorption of phosphonic acids. Results clearly demonstrate that adsorbed amounts of phosphonic acids were strongly influenced by immersion time and molecular structure. Quantum chemical calculations were performed by semi-empirical PM6 method, in order to explain the relationship between molecular structure and adsorption mechanism. Quantum chemical parameters of phosphonic acids propound that adsorption of molecules on copper surface has a chemical mechanism. Corrosion protection ability of SAMs against the acidic corrosion of copper has been evaluated in 0.1 M H2SO4 solution. It was found that phosphonic acid SAMs act as protective barrier and the protection efficiencies increased in the following order: AHP/Cu > BDPA/Cu > ADBP/Cu.