Nanostructures of functionalized zinc phthalocyanines prepared with colloidal lithography: Evaluation of surface orientation and dimensions using scanning probe microscopy

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© 2018 Patterned arrays of nanoholes and nanorings were prepared using colloidal lithography combined with steps of solution immersion and vapor deposition of organosilanes. Samples prepared with colloidal lithography exhibit millions of reproducible test structures with a periodic arrangement throughout areas of the surface according to the dimensions and spacing of the particle mask. Views of the size and morphology of nanopatterns obtained with atomic force microscopy (AFM) can provide information of progressive steps of chemical reactions as nanostructures are grown within spatially confined areas surrounded by a resist film. A surface mask of colloidal latex or silica spheres was used to protect discrete areas of a Si(111) substrate from the deposition of organosilanes. When the mask was removed, the uncovered areas of the surface revealed regularly-shaped, small sites of uncovered substrate available for further reaction steps to build hierarchical surface structures. Nanostructures of zinc phthalocyanines (ZnPcs) were constructed using amine-terminated nanopatterns as sites for binding. Spatial selectivity was achieved for directing the attachment of ZnPcs to the surface using resist films of 2-methoxy(polyethyleneoxy)propyl]trichlorosilane (PEO-silane) and also with octadecyltrimethoxysilane (OTMS). The molecule chosen as a linker was (3-aminopropyl)triethoxysilane (APTES) which presents an amine group at the interface. In general, phthalocyanine molecules tend to bind in a coplanar orientation by physisorption to the surface and can stack together through pi-pi interactions between adjacent macrocycles. However, the nature of the substituents will also influence whether the molecules assemble on surfaces in a side-on orientation or with the macrocycle oriented in a coplanar arrangement. Hydroxyl and isothiocyanate pendant groups were attached to the macrocycles of ZnPcs chosen for this study, to investigate conformational differences when attached to APTES nanopatterns. The size and morphology of nanostructures was visualized and sensitively measured with tapping-mode AFM. The elastic response of samples patterned with ZnPc was mapped with force modulation AFM. Changes in the height of nanostructures indicate whether the macrocycles are oriented upright or parallel to the surface plane, or if multilayers were formed.

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Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects

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