Shelley Claridge, Purdue University
A surprisingly broad array of problems in modern materials chemistry relate to creating interfaces with two distinct, well-structured chemical environments at near-molecular scales. For instance, positioning nm-wide metal and semiconductor features with a pitch of 5-7 nm in a nonconductive matrix represents a central requirement for next-generation nanoelectronic devices. Controlling interfacial chemical structure at scales from 5-10 nm is difficult using conventional lithographic patterning techniques. At the same time, a 6-nm pattern forms the cross-section of biological cell membranes, with distinct chemical environments created by a bilayer of phospholipids. We find powerful functions of phospholipid chemistry are preserved when the molecules are instead assembled in striped phases, in which the alkyl tails lie flat on a surface and the headgroups form 1-nm-wide stripes with a pitch of ~6 nm. We will discuss the relationship between structure and function at these interfaces, and useful material properties that emerge from the unusual surface chemistry; these include assembly of inorganic nanocrystals and crystallization of functional organic molecules.
Flyer File: claridge_shelley_ccb_flyer.pdf