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Langmuir. 2012 May 8;28(18):7299-307. doi: 10.1021/la300552w. Epub 2012 Apr 24.

Highly selective immobilization of Au nanoparticles onto isolated and dense nanopatterns of poly(2-vinyl pyridine) brushes down to single-particle resolution.

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Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin 53706, USA.


Chemical patterns consisting of poly(2-vinyl pyridine) (P2VP) brushes in a background of a cross-linked polystyrene (PS) mat enabled the highly selective placement of citrate-stabilized Au nanoparticles (NPs) in arrays on surfaces. The cross-linked PS mat prevented the nonspecific binding of Au NPs, and the regions functionalized with P2VP brushes allowed the immobilization of the particles. Isolated chemical patterns of feature sizes from hundreds to tens of nanometers were prepared by standard lithographic techniques. The number of 13 nm Au NPs bound per feature increased linearly with increasing area of the patterns. This behavior is similar to previous reports using 40 nm particles or larger. Arrays of single NPs were obtained by reducing the dimensions of patterned P2VP brushes to below ~20 nm. To generate dense (center-to-center distance = 80 nm) linear chemical patterns for the placement of rows of single NPs, a block-copolymer (BCP)-assisted lithographic process was used. BCPs healed defects associated with the standard lithographic patterning of small dimensions at high densities and led to highly registered, linear, single NP arrays.

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