By Seth Darling (Center for Nanoscale Materials, Argonne National Laboratory) and Steven Sibener (University of Chicago)
This attractive blue landscape is a slice of life at the nanoscale – the entire field of the image is just a hundredth the width of a human hair. The pattern is created by two different materials that have been laid over a gold surface. The rippled nature of this material allows scientists to adjust and control its properties, such as how it interacts with water—opening up new possibilities in self-cleaning materials, biocompatible implants, and beyond.
An atomic force micrograph of a self-assembled monolayer of molecules composed of two different materials on a gold surface. These mixed monolayers enable one to tailor the interface chemistry of the surface and thereby tune properties such as wettability or biocompatibility.
Photo courtesy of Argonne National Laboratory.