Development of 3-dimensional nanostructured unimodal and bimodal polystyrene templates
Gorey, Brian and Newman, Aaron and White, Blánaid and Morrin, Aoife and Smyth, Malcolm R. (2011) Development of 3-dimensional nanostructured unimodal and bimodal polystyrene templates. In: Eirelec 2011, Electrochemistry: The Future?, 16-18 May 2011, Limerick, Ireland.
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The aim of this project is to construct a reproducible nanostructured polystyrene (PS) sphere colloid. The polystyrene colloidal crystal must incorporate both macro-sized (μm) and nano-sized (nm) spheres to further advance the potential applications of such templates. However the preparation of bimodal structures with a repeatable macropore-mesopore structure is not a straight forward process. Multiple methods were explored in the construction of unimodal and bimodal colloid crystal templates. Areas of interested such as variation in sphere size, up to two orders of magnitude between macro and nano-sized were investigated, along with determination of the rate at which each PS sphere size packed by capillary forces. Two methods have been singled out sequential deposition and co-deposition. Sequential deposition utilised two separate solutions one containing nano-sized PS spheres, the second macro-sized. During packing the glass chip is transferred between the macro and nano solutions before predetermined times. It was found that while packing sequentially formation of a nano-sized unimodal colloid was preferable. This was due to a faster rate of capillary force packing for the nano-sized PS spheres when compared to the macro-sized. The second method utilised was co-deposition. In this method a solution of both macro and nano-sized PS spheres was homogenised and packed for a period of twelve hours. To date co-deposition has shown the most promise as a reliable method to produce bimodal colloidal crystals
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