Directed Growth of Polymethylene Films on Atomically Modified Gold Surface


  • Acknowledgment is made to the Donors of the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund (ACS-PRF# 35037-G5 and ACS-PRF #38553-AC5) for support of this research. We thank Prof. Ravindra Kane (Rensselaer Polytechnic) for donating patterned PDMS stamps and Prof. Richard Haglund (Vanderbilt) for providing access to a scanning probe microscope.


Gold surfaces patterned with underpotentially deposited copper and/or silver monolayers are used to direct the growth of highly insulating polymethylene films. Copper adatoms function as active catalytic sites to enhance polymer film growth over that of unmodified gold surfaces (see Figure). In contrast, a silver monolayer is inactive toward the polymerization and can be patterned to locally prevent film growth.