Patterned macromolecular films on solid surfaces have attracted considerable attention because of their potential uses in many novel surface-based technologies. In order to achieve this goal, thin homogeneous polymer films were patterned on solid surfaces by many conventional methods. These patterning methods have been proved to be reliable patterning strategies but only at the micrometer scale. Under this focus, contact printing has demonstrated to be a powerful, low-cost and simple tool for transferring patterns onto surfaces at the sub-100 nm scale. By using this technique diverse groups were able to create chemically defined domains by transferring alkanethiol molecules, polymer precursors and dendrimers up to the 50nm scale. However, many aspects relate d to contact printing at nano-scale must be addressed, mainly those related to the minimum feature that can be printed and the dependence of the achieved minimum feature on the nature of the printed molecule. The understanding of the relevant physicochemical phenomena taking place at ordered nano-scale domains of macromolecular films is a key step to achieve a complete manipulation of these systems by contact printing techniques. One of the main objectives of this project is to exploit that knowledge in order to push the resolution limits of contact printing techniques, applied to macromolecular systems, under the 20nm scale. By using this technique, under high resolution conditions, new nanofabrication strategies will be explored in order to bring new, simple and low-cost alternatives for fabricating polymer-based nano-devices. Under this focus, the development of nanofabrication routes for creating responsive interfaces will be studied by using site-selective processes onto nano-scale ordered domains of dendrim ers, polymer precursors or dendrimer-encapsulated nano-particles.
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