Transfer printing and host-guest properties of 3D supramolecular particle structures

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Mechanically robust and crystalline supramolecular particle structures have been constructed by decoupling nanoparticle assembly and supramolecular glue infiltration into a sequential process. First, β-cyclodextrin (CD)-functionalized polystyrene particles (d 500 nm) were assembled on a CD-functionalized surface via convective assembly to form highly ordered, but mechanically unstable, particle crystals. Subsequently, the crystals were infiltrated by a solution of adamantyl-functionalized dendrimers, functioning as a supramolecular glue to bind neighboring particles together and to couple the entire particle crystal to the CD surface, both in a noncovalent manner. The supramolecular particle crystals are highly robust, as witnessed by their ability to withstand agitation by ultrasonication. When assembled on a poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) stamp, the dendrimer-infiltrated particle crystals could be transfer-printed onto a CD-functionalized target surface. By variation of the geometry and size of the PDMS stamps, single particle lines, interconnected particle rings, and V-shaped particle assemblies were obtained. The particle structures served as 3D receptors for the binding of (multiple) complementary guest molecules, indicating that the supramolecular host functionalities of the particle crystals were retained throughout the fabrication process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)960-968
Number of pages9
JournalACS applied materials & interfaces
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • IR-72082
  • METIS-259839


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