A Simplified and Greener Approach to Patterning Surfaces with Metallic Nanostructures
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Marangoni flow is a phenomenon that spontaneously drives mass motion when surface tension gradients are created from surfactant concentration, temperature, and electrostatic potential across immiscible fluids. It has been shown in our lab and in other labs that Marangoni flow transfers suspended nanoparticles as a film onto a solid surface. These nanoparticles are uniformly dispersed in the film; crystalline films have not been reported as yet. Marangoni flow with nanoparticles could potentially aid in facile patterning of surfaces. The individual and collective properties of metal-containing nanoparticles are of significant interest in the fields of novel materials and high technology devices that rely on refined tuning and control over its nanometer scale building-blocks. Moreover, we have determined an environmentally friendlier procedure for generating a Marangoni flow with an aqueous sol of citric acid capped gold nanoparticles with n-alkane alcohols. Our experiment utilizes different sizes of gold nanoparticle suspensions with diameters ranging between 18nm and 42nm, where critical variables for the gold sol synthesis were found and constitute an important advance in this investigation. These films were characterized with UV-visible spectrophotometry, and their extinction spectra will be presented and interpreted. To demonstrate the potential for patterning surfaces with this method, results will be presented and interpreted that characterize the interfacial region of two joined films formed by Marangoni flow, each composed of a different size distribution of Au nanoparticles.