The Controlled Evolution of a Polymer Single Crystal

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Science  18 Mar 2005:
Vol. 307, Issue 5716, pp. 1763-1766
DOI: 10.1126/science.1109487

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We present a method for controlling the initiation and kinetics of polymer crystal growth using dip-pen nanolithography and an atomic force microscope tip coated with poly-dl-lysine hydrobromide. Triangular prisms of the polymer epitaxially grow on freshly cleaved mica substrates, and their in-plane and out-of-plane growth rates can be controlled by raster scanning the coated tip across the substrate. Atomic force microscope images were concomitantly recorded, providing a set of photographic images of the process as it spans the nanometer- to micrometer-length scales as a function of environmental conditions.

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