P. Singh, N. Musunuri
Keywords: monolayers, self-assembly
Summary:We have developed a novel technique for the formation of thin films with self-assembled monolayers of particles embedded on their surfaces. The technique is scalable and cost-effective. The technique can be potentially transformative in enhancing the ability to manufacture materials with superior surface properties—i.e., materials that have a highly-ordered crystal structure and non-zero lattice spacing. The optimal spacing is application dependent. In our technique an electric field in the direction normal to the interface is applied to control the self-assembly process so to obtain a virtually defect-free monolayer of particles. When there are two or more types of particles present there is a hierarchical order. The monolayer is then frozen onto the surface of a thin flexible film which can be transferred to the surface of a material to modify its surface properties.