Directed Growth of Polymer Nanorods Using Surface-Initiated Ring-Opening Polymerization of N-Allyl N-Carboxyanhydride

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© 2016 American Chemical Society. A stepwise chemistry route was used to prepare arrays of polymer nanostructures of poly(N-allyl glycine) on Si(111) using particle lithography. The nanostructures were used for studying surface reactions with advanced measurements of atomic force microscopy (AFM). In the first step to fabricate the surface platform, isolated nanopores were prepared within a thin film of octadecyltrichlorosilane (OTS). The OTS served as a surface resist, and the areas of nanopores provided multiple, regularly shaped sites for further reaction. An initiator, (3-aminopropyl)triethoxysilane (APTES), was grown selectively inside the nanopores to define sites for polymerization. The initiator attached selectively to the sites of nanopores indicating OTS prevented nonspecific adsorption. Surface-initiated ring-opening polymerization of N-allyl N-carboxyanhydride with APTES produced polymer nanorods on the nanodots of APTES presenting amine functional groups. The surface changes for each step were monitored using high resolution atomic force microscopy (AFM). Slight variations in the height of the poly(N-allyl glycine) nanorods were observed which scale correspondingly to the initial dimensions of nanopores. The distance between adjacent polymer nanorods was controlled by the size of mesoparticle masks used in the experiment. This surface platform has potential application in biotechnology for smart coatings or biosensors.

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ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces

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