Langmuir, Vol.30, No.6, 1630-1635, 2014
Development of a Particle Nanoimprinting Technique by Core-Shell Particles
We developed a particle nanoimprinting technique assisted by the array of core-shell particles. Core-shell particles composed of a solid core of polystyrene and a soft shell were prepared by soap-free emulsion polymerization and subsequently seeded polymerization. By the Langmuir-Blodgett method, particles were arranged into a closely packed 2D array over the water surface and transferred onto a polystyrene (PS) substrate at a regular interval. The PS substrate was heated up above its glass transition temperature (T-g) by either UV irradiation using a high-pressure Hg lamp or heat treatment in a temperature-controlled incubator. It could be observed that a nanopatterned indented surface was formed through the denting of particles into the PS substrate (particle nanoindenting). By the detachment of particles from the substrate by ultrasonication in ethanol, nanoholes were produced over the surface (particle nanoimprinting). The depth and the wall of nanoholes and their interval were tunable by the shell thickness and the 2D packing ratio of core-shell particle monolayers. The contact angle decreased from 70 degrees of the pristine particle monolayer to 13 degrees by the particle nanoindenting, and again increased to SO degrees by detaching the particles from the substrate to create the nanoholes. The use of nanoholes as zepto-litter volume vessels enabled us to produce and arrange nanocrystals, such as NaCl and CaCO3 (zepto-reactor).