Self-Assembly of Nano-Sized Spherical Polyelectrolyte Brushes on Different Substrates as Observed by AFM
Nano-sized spherical poly (acrylic acid) (PAA) brushes (SPB) were prepared on the surface of colloidal polystyrene (PS) particles by photo-emulsion polymerization. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) was employed to observe the assembly of SPB on substrates of silicon, gold and mica with various surface properties and to determine the morphological information including particle size, shape and core-shell structure of SPB. We found that the surface polarity, electrostatic interactions between SPB and substrate surface and among SPB and capillary forces during sample drying affect the SPB assembly on substrate surface and their morphology.
S. B. Huang et al., "Self-Assembly of Nano-Sized Spherical Polyelectrolyte Brushes on Different Substrates as Observed by AFM", Applied Mechanics and Materials, Vols. 110-116, pp. 3762-3769, 2012