Large-area self-assembly of silica microspheres/nanospheres by temperature-assisted dip-coating

Garcia Nunez, C. , Navaraj, W. T., Liu, F., Shakthivel, D. and Dahiya, R. (2018) Large-area self-assembly of silica microspheres/nanospheres by temperature-assisted dip-coating. ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 10(3), pp. 3058-3068. (doi:10.1021/acsami.7b15178) (PMID:29280379)

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Abstract

This work reports a temperature-assisted dip-coating method for self-assembly of silica (SiO2) micro-/nano-spheres (SPs) as monolayers over large areas (~cm2). The area over which self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) are formed can be controlled by tuning the suspension temperature (Ts), which allows precise control over meniscus shape. Furthermore, the formation of periodic stripes of SAM, with excellent dimensional control (stripe width and stripe-to-stripe spacing), is demonstrated using a suitable set of dip-coating parameters. These findings establish the role of Ts, and other parameters such as withdrawal speed (Vw), withdrawal angle (θw) and withdrawal step length (Lw). For Ts ranged between 25-80oC, the morphological analysis of dip-coatings shows layered structures comprising of defective layers (25-60oC), single layers (70oC), and multi-layer (>70oC) owing to the variation of SPs flux at the meniscus/substrate assembling interface. At Ts= 70oC, there is an optimum Vw, approximately equal to the downshift speed of the meniscus (Vm =1.3 μm/s), which allows the SAM formation over areas (2.25 cm2) roughly 10 times larger than reported in literature using nanospheres. Finally, the large-area SAM is used to demonstrate the enhanced performance of anti-reflective coatings for photovoltaic cells, and to create metal nano-mesh for Si nanowire synthesis.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Dahiya, Professor Ravinder and Garcia Nunez, Dr Carlos and Shakthivel, Dr Dhayalan and Liu, Fengyuan and Navaraj, Mr William
Authors: Garcia Nunez, C., Navaraj, W. T., Liu, F., Shakthivel, D., and Dahiya, R.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Systems Power and Energy
College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Electronics and Nanoscale Engineering
Journal Name:ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Publisher:American Chemical Society
ISSN:1944-8244
ISSN (Online):1944-8252
Published Online:27 December 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 American Chemical Society
First Published:First published in ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces 10(3):3058-3068
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
663861Engineering Fellowships for Growth: Printed Tactile SKINRavinder DahiyaEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/M002527/1ENG - ENGINEERING ELECTRONICS & NANO ENG