Coverage Dependent Evolution of Two-Dimensional Dendrimer/Mica Domain Patterns

F.T. Xu, S.C. Street, and J.A. Barnard

The fabrication of two-dimensional, two-phase (A and B) domain patterns resulting from competing short-range attractive and long-range repulsive interactions has implications for controlled patterning of structures at the nanoscale. We have demonstrated that the theoretically predicted domain pattern evolution is observed in dendrimer domains fabricated by simple aerosol deposition techniques. We observed the expected sequence of islands of A in a matrix of B, alternating elongated domains of A and B, and islands of B in a matrix of A. For this system the repulsive interaction is electrostatic and is associated with the negatively charged surface of mica and the positively charged surface of the dendrimer domains. By manipulating the chemistry of the substrate, solution, and dendrimer molecules to tailor the electrostatic interactions and interphase boundary energy, domain patterns with repeat distances ranging from a few times the molecular size to microns should be achievable.

Xu, F.T.; Street, S.C.; Barnard, J.A., J. Phys. Chem. B 2003, 107, 12762