The formation of particle monolayers by convective assembly was studied in situ with three different kinds of particle-surface interactions: adsorption onto native surfaces, with additional electrostatic interactions, and with supramolecular host-guest interactions. In the first case carboxylate-functionalized polystyrene (PS-COOH) particles were assembled onto native silicon oxide surfaces, in the second PS-COOH onto protonated amino-functionalized (NH3+) self-assembled monolayers (SAMs), and in the third B-CD-functionalized polystyrene (PS-CD) particles onto B-CD SAMs with pre-adsorbed ferrocenyl-functionalized dendrimers. The adsorption and desorption behaviors of particles onto and from these surfaces were observed in situ on a horizontal deposition setup, and the packing density and order of the adsorbed particle lattices were compared. The desorption behavior of particles from surfaces was evaluated by reducing the temperature below the dew point, thus initiating water condensation. Particle lattices on native oxide surfaces formed the best hexagonal close packed (hcp) order and could be easily desorbed by reducing the temperature to below the dew point. The electrostatically modified assembly resulted in densely packed, but disordered particle lattices. The specificity and selectivity of the supramolecular assembly process were optimized by the use of ferrocenyl-functionalized dendrimers of low generation and by the introduction of competitive interaction by native B-CD molecules during the assembly. The fine-tuned supramolecularly formed particle lattices were nearly hcp packed. Both electrostatically and supramolecularly formed lattices of particles were strongly attached to the surfaces and could not be removed by condensation.
- EC Grant Agreement nr.: FP6/500120