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Adsorbed Surfactants as Templates for the Synthesis of Morphologically Controlled Polyaniline and Polypyrrole Nanostructures on Flat Surfaces:  From Spheres to Wires to Flat Films

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journal contribution
posted on 03.12.2003, 00:00 authored by Andrew D. W. Carswell, Edgar A. O'Rea, Brian P. Grady
Nanostructures of polyaniline (PAni) and polypyrrole (PPy) with controlled morphologies have been synthesized on atomically flat surfaces using adsorbed surfactant molecules as templates. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) has been used to investigate polymer film formation on highly oriented pyrolytic graphite (HOPG) and chemically modified HOPG. Morphological control over the resulting polymer film is possible by the addition of coadsorbing molecules, manipulation of the length of the surfactant hydrophobe, or by changing the surface chemistry of the adsorbing substrate. Phase transitions between spheres, cylinders/wires, and featureless films have been observed which exactly parallel transitions between spheres, cylinders, and flat layers in the adsorbed surfactant. Parallel arrays of PAni nanowires can be synthesized with alignment evident over large areas in a simple self-assembly technique in which fabrication and arrangement take place simultaneously. Such a technique in which one can engineer sub-100-nm-ordered nanoscale π-conjugated polymer structures of a desired shape by a simple self-assembly process presents potential as templates, sensors, and microelectronic devices.