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SELF ASSEMBLY: Surface Tuning vs.  Patterning

     

Figure 1. Three types of self-assembly. Surface tuning and patterning, and natural patterning.

In the field of surface chemistry, I am utilizing the technique of engineering surfaces and interfaces using a self-assembly to develop sensors and devices, as well as catalyst and adhesives.  Surface engineers need to control multiple functionalities on surfaces, both to control surface energetics (non-selective self-assembly) and to pattern surfaces (selective self-assembly), but sometimes meet unexpected natural patterning behaviors such as diffusion-limited aggregation, as described in Figure 1. The surface tuning and patterning have become a tool for tethering molecules like antibodies, proteins, etc. to solid substrates. The self-assembly of organic monolayers (SAMs) on substrate have been intensively studied (Whitesides, G.M group in Harvard University) since first described (Zisman et al., 1946, J. Coll. Sci.).  The focus of interest has been long-chain alkylthiols on gold and long chain alkyl-trichlorosilanes on oxidized surfaces such as silicone, glass, and metal.  Due to the important industrial application, an understanding of the properties and behavior of these materials on the molecular scale has become of great importance.  Critical issues concerning these materials have been how to control and stabilize them as well as how to determine the molecular scale structures.  I strongly believe that the combination of alkane thiols, silanes, colloidal particles, metals, semi-conductors, and polymers using a self-assembly technique in this field would become a powerful tool for the development of new ideas and products.

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Copyright © 2002 Ilsoon Lee All rights reserved.


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