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Formation of Concentric Silica Nanogrooves Guided by the Curved Surface of Silica Particles

Hara, Shintaro, Hirota, Keiya, Tabe, Yuka, Wada, Hiroaki, Shimojima, Atsushi, Kuroda, Kazuyuki
Langmuir 2018 v.34 no.4 pp. 1733-1741
micelles, periodicity, silica, silicates, silicon, surfactants, vapors
The flexible control of nanopatterns by a bottom-up process at the nanometer scale is essential for nanofabrication with a finer pitch. We have previously reported that for the fabrication of linear nanopatterns with sub-5 nm periodicity on Si substrates the outermost surfaces of assembled micelles facing the substrates can be replicated with soluble silicate species generated from the Si substrates under basic conditions. In this study, concentrically arranged nanogrooves with a sub-5 nm periodicity were prepared on Si substrates by replicating the outermost surfaces of bent micelles guided by silica particles. The Si substrates, where silica particles and surfactants films were deposited, were exposed to an NH₃–water vapor mixture. During the vapor treatment, cylindrical micelles became arranged in concentric patterns centered on the silica particles, and their outermost surfaces facing the substrates were replicated by soluble silicate species on the Si substrates. The thinness of the surfactant film on the substrate is crucial for the formation of concentric silica nanogrooves because the out-of-plane orientations of the micelles are suppressed at the interface. Surprisingly, the domains of the concentric silica nanogrooves spread to much larger areas than the maximum cross-sectional areas of the particles, and the size of the domains increased linearly with the radii of the particles. The extension of concentric nanogrooves is discussed on the basis of the orientational elastic energies of the micelles around one silica particle. This study of the formation of bent nanogrooves guided by the outlines of readily deposited nanoscale objects provides a new nanostructure-guiding process.