Freestanding particle bridges with controlled composition and macroscopic robustness are demonstrated by the use of supramolecular nanoparticle assembly. Self-assembly of nanoparticles, templating, and supramolecular glue infiltration are combined to form stable and ordered three-dimensional polystyrene particle composites on a polydimethylsiloxane stamp. Freestanding hybrid polystyrene nanoparticle bridges are obtained by transfer printing of the hybrid structures onto topographically patterned substrates via host-guest interactions. The mechanical robustness and rigidity of the particle bridges can be controlled by manipulating the layer-by-layer cycles of supramolecular glues of gold nanoparticles and dendrimers. Atomic force microscopy-based microbending results, in particular the location and force-dependent deflection behavior, confirm that the particle bridge fulfills the classical supported-beam characteristics. As estimated from classical beam theory, the bending moduli of the particle bridges vary between 0.8 and 1.1 GPa, depending on the degree of filling by the supramolecular glues. Failure analysis on the particle structure indicates linear elastic behavior and a plastic deformation upon failure.
- Host-guest systems
- Atomic Force Microscopy