|510. Oded, M.; Kelly, S.T.; Gilles, M.K.; Müller, A.H.E.; Shenhar, R.: From Dots to Doughnuts: Two-Dimensionally Confined Deposition of Polyelectrolytes on Block Copolymer Templates, Polymer 107, 406-414 (2016) -- DOI: 10.1016/j.polymer.2016.07.016|
The combination of block copolymer templating with electrostatic self-assembly provides a simple and robust method for creating nano-patterned polyelectrolyte multilayers over large areas. The deposition of the first polyelectrolyte layer provides important insights on the initial stages of multilayer buildup. Here, we focus on two-dimensionally confined “dots” patterns afforded by block copolymer films featuring hexagonally-packed cylinders that are oriented normal to the substrate. Rendering the cylinder caps positively charged enables the selective deposition of negatively charged polyelectrolytes on them under salt-free conditions. The initially formed polyelectrolyte nanostructures adopt a toroidal ("doughnut") shape, which results from retraction of dangling polyelectrolyte segments into the “dots” upon drying. With increasing exposure time to the polyelectrolyte solution, the final shape of the deposited polyelectrolyte transitions from a doughnut to a hemisphere. These insights would enable the creation of patterned polyelectrolyte multilayers with increased control over adsorption selectivity of the additional incoming polyelectrolytes.