Spontaneous "phase separation" of patterned binary alkanethiol mixtures

Khalid Salaita, Anand Amarnath, Daniel Maspoch, Thomas B. Higgins, Chad A. Mirkin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


This article describes novel phase-separation behavior by a binary mixture of alkanethiols when deposited onto a gold surface using micro- and nanodeposition tools, such as microcontact printing (μCP) and dip-pen nanolithography (DPN). This behavior is significantly different than that observed in the bulk. We demonstrate this behavior using three model compounds: 16-mercaptohexadecanoic acid (MHA), 1-octadecanethiol (ODT), and CF 3(CF2)11(CH2)2SH (PFT). The identity of the resulting segregated structure is confirmed by lateral force microscopy (LFM) and by selective metal-organic coordination chemistry. Importantly, this phenomenon can be exploited to print sub-100 nm wide alkanethiol lines via conventional μCP and to form sub-15 nm features using DPN, which is below the ultimate resolution of both these techniques. We also demonstrate that these nanopatterned materials can serve as templates for constructing more complex architectures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11283-11287
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number32
StatePublished - Aug 17 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry

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