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Science (New York, N.Y.)

The controlled evolution of a polymer single crystal.


PMID 15774755

Abstract

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.