Lipid Membrane Domains for the Selective Adsorption and Surface Patterning of Conjugated Polyelectrolytes


Darryl Y. Sasaki, Nicole Zawada, Sean F. Gilmore, Prihatha Narasimmaraj, Mari Angelica A. Sanchez, Jeanne C. Stachowiak, Carl C. Hayden, Hsing-Lin Wang, Atul N. Parikh, and Andrew P. Shreve, Langmuir 29, 5214–5221, 2013

Conjugated polyelectrolytes (CPEs) are promising materials for generating optoelectronics devices under environmentally friendly processing conditions, but challenges remain to develop methods to define lateral features for improved junction interfaces and direct optoelectronic pathways. We describe here the potential to use a bottom-up approach that employs self-assembly in lipid membranes to form structures to template the selective adsorption of CPEs. Phase separation of gel phase anionic lipids and fluid phase phosphocholine lipids allowed the formation of negatively charged domain assemblies that selectively adsorb a cationic conjugated polyelectrolyte (P2). Spectroscopic studies found the adsorption of P2 to negatively charged membranes resulted in minimal structural change of the solution phase polymer but yielded an enhancement in fluorescence intensity (∼50%) due to loss of quenching pathways. Fluorescence microscopy, dynamic light scattering, and AFM imaging were used to characterize the polymer–membrane interaction and the polymer-bound domain structures of the biphasic membranes. In addition to randomly formed circular gel phase domains, we also show that predefined features, such as straight lines, can be directed to form upon etched patterns on the substrate, thus providing potential routes toward the self-organization of optoelectronic architectures.

DOI: 10.1021/la400454c