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ACS Nano. 2011 Jan 25;5(1):565-73. doi: 10.1021/nn102697r. Epub 2010 Dec 13.

Orienting periodic organic-inorganic nanoscale domains through one-step electrodeposition.

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  • 1Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208, United States.


One of the challenges in the synthesis of hybrid materials with nanoscale structure is to precisely control morphology across length scales. Using a one-step electrodeposition process on indium tin oxide (ITO) substrates followed by annealing, we report here the preparation of materials with preferentially oriented lamellar domains of electron donor surfactants and the semiconductor ZnO. We found that either increasing the concentration of surfactant or the water to dimethyl sulfoxide ratio of solutions used resulted in the suppression of bloomlike morphologies and enhanced the density of periodic domains on ITO substrates. Furthermore, by modifying the surface of the ITO substrate with the conductive polymer blend poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrenesulfonate), we were able to alter the orientation of these electrodeposited lamellar domains to be perpendicular to the substrate. The long-range orientation achieved was characterized by 2D grazing incidence small-angle X-ray scattering. This high degree of orientation in electronically active hybrids with alternating nanoscale p-type and n-type domains is of potential interest in photovoltaics or thermoelectric materials.

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