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13 August 2003 Thin films of light-responsive polymers for sensing and surface patterning
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The kinetics of electrostatic layer-by-layer adsorption of a weakly charged polycation, poly(allylamine hydrochloride), PAH, and a polyanion containing an azobenzene chromophore, P-Azo, was studied using UV-vis spectroscopy and ellipsometry. The thickness of the multilayer films was first measured over the adsorption pH range of 3 to 11, and the growth of multilayers was examined as function of time and concentration. Films assembled in bath pH near that of their pKa value produced both the thickest films, and displayed remarkably rapid adsorption isotherms. In some PAH/P-Azo films a significantly large thickness was achieved in less than 5 seconds, which is more than two orders of magnitude faster than what is usually observed. We show that this anomalously rapid adsorption is a consequence of the weak acid-base nature of the layers. Self-assembled polymer films containg azobenzene groups are interesting materials as the chromophores can be addressed as light-responsive groups for surface patterning and sensing.
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Christopher J. Barrett, Ozzy Mermut, and Kevin Yager "Thin films of light-responsive polymers for sensing and surface patterning", Proc. SPIE 5053, Smart Structures and Materials 2003: Active Materials: Behavior and Mechanics, (13 August 2003);

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