|© Candice Pelligra, Osuji Lab|
In order to prepare for the experimental process, brass substrates were sonicated in a water-soap, ethanol, and acetone solution-each state for 15 minutes. Afterwards, the substrates were UV irradiated for further elimination of organic contaminants.
About 4 mL of micelle solution are coated above the brass substrate by spin coater revolving from ranges 1750 RPM to 2500 RPM. By adjusting the solution concentration and spin speed, we achieve a block copolymer monolayer. The machine used to spin-coat our substrates is called the “WS-650-23 Spin Coater”.
The spin-casted substrate was then placed in a growth solution containing hexamethylenetetramine (HMTA) and zinc acetate dihydrate dissolved in deionized water and acetone. The vial was sealed and then placed in a water bath that was variably heated at 60, 70, 75, and 80 degrees Celsius between 15, 20, and 30-minute increments. The final step before rod characterization was a water and ethanol cleansing, each done for 45 seconds. In order to later characterize our nanorod at high resolutions, we took our substrate samples to the Hitachi SU-70 SEM machine.