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Title: Catching Waves: Measuring Self-Assembly in Action
Description: Schematic of the monolayer self-assembly process studied by the NIST/NCSU team. The silicon substrate is approximately 1 x 5 cm in dimensions. The source (left) is a mixture of organosilane (OS) molecules and parafin oil (to control the evaportion rate.) The whole system is enclosed in a Petri dish. The concentration of OS molecules is higher near the source and the ordering process initiates near this region. Molecules behind the advancing self-assembly front are relatively ordered, while molecules ahead of the front are engulfed and incorporated as the front reaches them. The molecules at the leading edge of the front are less ordered and this region becomes broader as the front advances--this is the key phenomenon measured in the experiment.

Video shows Mean field reaction-diffusion model of the monolayer self-assembly process. High-resolution measurements reveal that the S-shaped interfacial region of the self-assembly wavefront becomes progressively rougher as it advances, a feature not captured by the model. (Video must be saved to disk)

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Subjects (names):
Topics/Categories: Materials--Polymers
Type: Graphic/illustration/video
Source: National Institute of Standards and Technology
Credit Line as it should
appear in print:
AV Number: 07MSEL007
Date Created: June 21, 2007
Date Entered: 6/21/2007

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