Infoscience

Thesis

Self-assembly of tunable, responsive polymer nanostructures: tools for nanofabrication of functional interfaces

The thesis presents a tool-box based on two dimensional self-assembly of diblock copolymer micelles to achieve nanostructures on surface with control over dimensions, spacing, surface-coverage and surface placement. Polystyrene-block-poly(2-vinyl pyridine), polystyrene-block-polyacrylic acid and polystyrene-block-polyferrocenyldimethylsilane have been used for the study. The utility of the self-assembly approach has been demonstrated by deriving other functional nanostructures like inorganic nanoparticle arrays and nanoscale pillars and holes on hard and soft substrates. In this respect, nanoparticle arrays of iron oxide with systematically tunable dimensions in the sub-10nm regime, creating sub-50nm wide Si, Si3N4, SiO2 and Quartz pillars and holes with varying aspect ratios and PDMS pillars/holes are presented. Preliminary results applying the nanostructured surfaces for applications such as carbon nanotube growth, controlling human stem-cell adhesion and expression, controlling columnar growth of physical vapor deposited TiN pyramids, and super-hydrophobic surfaces has been presented and discussed. The many interesting directions for future work based on the thesis results are presented in the outlook and where appropriate.

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