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Self-Assembly as a Method to Device Construction

Surfactant molecules of Tau-3PDP and Phs-3PDP self-assemble into fractal patterns when placed on an air-water interface. These fractal crystals can subsequently be coated with various metallic films and used in electronic devices. Several labs are currently trying to unlock the potential of self-assembled organic molecules to define complex templates for the rapid processing of nanoscale electronic devices, where exceptionally high surface areas can be accessed in a bottom-up fashion. Before putting the structures to use, an understanding of how to control the growth of the crystals is required. Using Brewster Angle Microscopy coupled to a Langmuir trough we have been able to control the complexity (or fractal dimension) of self-assembled crystals through changes in temperature. The image analysis shows higher fractal dimensions at lower temperatures. We are currently trying to use the fractals as a template by reducing gold on the interface.

Decreasing Temperature  

  • Increasing Complexity

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