Creating Polymer Structures of Tunable Electric Functionality by Nanoscale Discharge-Assisted Cross-Linking and Oxygenation Academic Article uri icon


  • We report the creation of polymeric micro/nanostructures which exhibit distinct chemical and physical characteristics from the matrix poly(N-vinyl carbazole) (PVK). The structure formation is based on atomic force microscopy (AFM) facilitated cross-linking and oxygenation. The reaction of PVK with AFM lithographically induced nanoscale discharge produces raised structures in which bridge oxygen links neighboring carbazole groups. The cross-linking by bridge oxygen converts the initially insulating PVK matrix to chemically modified conducting patterns through the formation of extended pi-conjugations. A comprehensive AFM, PES (photoelectron spectroscopy), FTIR (Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy), and DFT (density functional theory) analysis is presented to address the chemophysical identity of the patterned structures. Our results demonstrate new capabilities of AFM nanolithography in generating heterogeneous functional structures in a polymer matrix.


  • Xie, Xian Ning
  • Deng, Mu
  • Xu, Hai
  • Yang, Shuo Wang
  • Qi, Dong Chen
  • Gao, Xing Yu
  • Chung, Hong Jing
  • Sow, Chorng Haur
  • Tan, Vincent BC
  • Wee, Andrew Thye Shen

publication date

  • March 2006