Materials Science and Technology of Polymers

Freestanding 3D Supramolecular Particle Bridges

An entirely new method for building bridges of nanoparticles have been developed by the group of Molecular NanoFabriaction (Jurriaan Huskens) and the group Materials science and Technology of Polymers (Julius Vancso), both part of the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology at the University of Twente.
The freestanding particle bridges with controlled composition are demonstrated by the use of supramolecular nanoparticle assembly. The self assembly of the nanoparticles in combination with supramolecular glue forms stable and ordered three dimensional polystyrene particle compositions on a PDMS stamp. The Freestanding PS 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 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.
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