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Material templating through substrate-bound molecular and macromolecular gradients

Jan Genzer*

Chemical Engineering Department, North Carolina State University,
Raleigh, NC 27695-7905 USA

This is an abstract for a presentation given at the
11th Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology

 

The demands on preparing, processing, and characterizing novel materials and structures and the need for full exploration of the parameter space has led to the development of a plethora of multi-variant approaches. Some of these methods are based on decorating surfaces with a position-dependent and gradually varying chemistry. In these so-called "gradient surfaces", the gradient in surface energy is responsible for a position-bound variation in physical properties, most notably the wettability. In my presentation, I will discuss details pertaining to several projects currently under way, which will demonstrate that surfaces with well-defined characteristics can be prepared by engineering novel soft-materials and controlling their assembly on surfaces. Specifically, I will talk about forming molecular and macromolecular gradients with tailorable surface properties; I will also outline novel means of measuring their physico-chemical characteristics. I will document that very good control over the chemistry and physical properties of the gradients on the substrate can be achieved. I will demonstrate that the gradient-based technology allows for preparation of substrates covered with surface anchored polymers with a gradual variation of polymer grafting density, molecular weight, and composition. I will also discuss how these gradient structures can be utilized as soft material scaffolds that govern the spatial distribution of nano-sized object (such as nanoparticles or proteins).


*Corresponding Address:
Jan Genzer
Chemical Engineering Department
North Carolina State University
Riddick Labs, PO Box 7905
Raleigh, NC 27695-7905 USA
Phone: 919-515-2069 Fax: 919-515-3465
Email: Jan_Genzer@ncsu.edu
Web: http://scf.che.ncsu.edu



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