Reactivity in confined environments: towards combinatorial chemistry on the nanometer scale
01 / 2001 - 01 / 2006
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO)
The aim of this proposal is the fabrication of functionalized quasi-two-dimensional periodic arrays with nanometer size dimension via selective chemical derivatization of the periodic domain structures formed in ultrathin films of microphase-separated block copolymers. It is proposed to chemically modify, address, and analyze individual domains in these arrays by means of scanning force microscopy (SFM) using modified tips and thereby to extend combinatorial chemistry approaches from the scale of tens of micrometers to the nanometer level. This novel strategy, which is based on self-assembly of block copolymers, will increase the amount of attainable data by up to six orders of magnitude and is ultimately directed towards the detection and study of single molecule interactions. It can be envisioned that this nanotechnological approach will lead to parallel, molecular level screening of chemical reactivity of man-made, as well as biologically active compounds and may lead to important insights in studies of, for instance, autoimmune diseases, where recognition processes at the level of proteins play an important role. Due to the restriction of lateral sizes of the reacting domains, it is imperative to explore the fundamentals of reactivity of functional groups in confined or constrained environments, such as in ultrathin films and at interfaces, on a nanometer level. The combination of multimode SFM, with evanescent field spectroscopy (attenuated total internal reflection (ATR)-FTIR, evanescent field fluorescence, and surface plasmon resonance (SPR) spectroscopy / microscopy) as proposed, promises to yield powerful tools for the analysis of surface reactions with chemical specificity.