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Highly oriented thin films of poly(tetrafluoroethylene) as a substrate for oriented growth of materials

Naturevolume 352pages414417 (1991) | Download Citation

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Abstract

THE formation of highly oriented structures such as single crystals, single-domain liquid crystals and systems comprising uniaxially oriented crystallites is important in many applications of thin films and interfaces, ranging from materials reinforcement to molecular electronics. Of the methods that exist for forming such oriented structures, however, few have sufficient generality to make them applicable to materials of differing chemical composition or physical properties. Here we present a simple and surprisingly versatile method1 for orienting a wide variety of crystalline and liquid-crystalline materials, including polymers, monomers and small organic and inorganic molecules. In our technique, a thin, single-crystal-like film of poly(tetrafluoroethylene) (PTFE) is deposited mechanically on a smooth substrate such as glass. Materials grown on this coated surface from solution, melt or vapour phases show a remarkable degree of alignment.

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Affiliations

  1. Materials Department and † Department of Chemical and Nuclear Engineering, University of California at Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, California, 93106, USA

    • Paul Smith
  2. Institut Charles Sadron (CRM-EAHP), 6 rue Boussingault, 67083, Strasbourg, France

    • Jean Claude Wittmann

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https://doi.org/10.1038/352414a0

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