Hierarchical Self-Assembly Based on Surface-Confined Foldamers: A Bottom-up Approach to Nanopatterning (I)

Hierarchical self-assembly is ubiquitous in Nature. It forms the basic construction technique used for the self-assembly from small proteins to multicellular organisms. It remains, however, a great challenge to create artificial nanostructures that can rival the functionality of these natural systems. Within SURCONFOLD we address this challenge by developing a truly hierarchically approach that allows for full control over the two-dimensional spatial positioning of multiple different functional groups at a variety of interfaces with 0.5-20 nm spatial resolution. To this extend we will employ surface-confined foldamers, i.e. oligomeric molecules with tunable sequence and incorporated functionality that adsorb at the liquid-solid interface and fold into a well-defined conformation. These 2D-confined objects with defined shape will subsequently self-assemble into regular 2D patterns, and time- and space-resolved characterization will be employed to unravel the complex folding and self-assembly behaviour. Control over the foldamers chain sequence and 2D conformation will enable the precise spatial arrangement of various different chemical entities, which can be exploited for the precise spatial arrangement of functional groups such as donor-acceptor-type chromophores, catalytically active groups or recognition sites, leading to new opportunities for optoelectronic materials, catalysts, or sensors. Our approach thus involves several hierarchical organization levels to transfer information present at the molecular level in the form of a specific monomer sequence to the overall assembled, true hybrid material, and offers thereby an exquisite control over both chemical nature and spatial arrangement of surface functionalization. Therefore, SURCONFOLD will apply a cross-disciplinary approach involving organic, polymer, and physical chemists with complementary expertise to generate new knowledge in the burgeoning area of materials and nanoscience with potential impact in sensing, optoelectronics, and catalysis.

Principal investigators
Hecht, Stefan Prof. (Details) (Organic Chemistry and Functional Materials)

DFG: Sachbeihilfe

Duration of project
Start date: 10/2006
End date: 12/2008

Research Areas
Experimental and Theoretical Physics of Polymers


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Last updated on 2022-07-09 at 21:06