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Non-close-packed breath figures via ion-partitioning-mediated self-assembly

Aw, Jia En; Goh, Glen Tai Wei; Huang, Shengnan; Reithofer, Michael R.; Thong, Aaron Zhenghui; Chin, Jia Min


Jia En Aw

Glen Tai Wei Goh

Shengnan Huang

Michael R. Reithofer

Aaron Zhenghui Thong

Jia Min Chin


We report a one-step method of forming non-close-packed (NCP) pore arrays of micro- and sub-micropores using chloroform-based solutions of polystyrene acidified with hydrogen bromide for breath figure (BF) patterning. As BF patterning takes place, water vapor condenses onto the polystyrene solution, forming water droplets on the solution surface. Concurrently, preferential ion partitioning of hydrogen bromide leads to positively charged water droplets, which experience interdroplet electrostatic repulsion. Self-organization of charged water droplets because of surface flow and subsequent evaporation of the droplet templates result in ordered BF arrays with pore separation/diameter (L/D) ratios of up to 16.5. Evidence from surface potential scans show proof for preferential ion partitioning of HBr. Radial distribution functions and Voronoi polygon analysis of pore arrays show that they possess a high degree of conformational order. Past fabrication methods of NCP structures typically require multi-step processes. In contrast, we have established a new route for facile self-assembly of previously inaccessible patterns, which comprises of only a single operational step.


Aw, J. E., Goh, G. T. W., Huang, S., Reithofer, M. R., Thong, A. Z., & Chin, J. M. (2015). Non-close-packed breath figures via ion-partitioning-mediated self-assembly. Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids, 31(24), 6688-6694.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 20, 2015
Online Publication Date May 26, 2015
Publication Date Jun 23, 2015
Deposit Date Jun 30, 2015
Publicly Available Date Jun 30, 2015
Journal Langmuir
Print ISSN 0743-7463
Electronic ISSN 1520-5827
Publisher American Chemical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 31
Issue 24
Pages 6688-6694
Keywords Breath figures, Non-close packed, Ion partitioning, Self-assembly, Pore arrays
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in Langmuir, copyright © American Chemical Society after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see 10.1021/la504656j


Supporting Information for Publication.pdf (271 Kb)

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©2016 University of Hull

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