We report the structure and Young's modulus of switchable films formed by peptide self-assembly at the air–water interface. Peptide surfactant AM1 forms an interfacial film that can be switched, reversibly, from a high- to low-elasticity state, with rapid loss of emulsion and foam stability. Using neutron reflectometry, we find that the AM1 film comprises a thin (approx. 15 Å) layer of ordered peptide in both states, confirming that it is possible to drastically alter the mechanical properties of an interfacial ensemble without significantly altering its concentration or macromolecular organization. We also report the first experimentally determined Young's modulus of a peptide film self-assembled at the air–water interface (E=80 MPa for AM1, switching to E<20 MPa). These findings suggest a fundamental link between E and the macroscopic stability of peptide-containing foam. Finally, we report studies of a designed peptide surfactant, Lac21E, which we find forms a stronger switchable film than AM1 (E=335 MPa switching to E<4 MPa). In contrast to AM1, Lac21E switching is caused by peptide dissociation from the interface (i.e. by self-disassembly). This research confirms that small changes in molecular design can lead to similar macroscopic behaviour via surprisingly different mechanisms.
peptide; Young's modulus; interface; film; neutron reflectometry
The formation of effective and precise linkages in bottom-up or top-down processes is important for the development of self-assembled materials. Self-assembly through molecular recognition events is a powerful tool for producing functionalized materials. Photoresponsive molecular recognition systems can permit the creation of photoregulated self-assembled macroscopic objects. Here we demonstrate that macroscopic gel assembly can be highly regulated through photoisomerization of an azobenzene moiety that interacts differently with two host molecules. A photoregulated gel assembly system is developed using polyacrylamide-based hydrogels functionalized with azobenzene (guest) or cyclodextrin (host) moieties. Reversible adhesion and dissociation of the host gel from the guest gel may be controlled by photoirradiation. The differential affinities of α-cyclodextrin or β-cyclodextrin for the trans-azobenzene and cis-azobenzene are employed in the construction of a photoswitchable gel assembly system.
Self-assembly through molecular recognition events is used in the production of functionalized materials. This study shows that macroscopic gel assembly can be regulated through photoisomerization of an azobenzene moiety that interacts differently with two host molecules.
Future smart nanostructures will have to rely on molecular assembly for unique or advanced desired functions. For example, the evolved ribosome in nature is one example of functional self-assembly of nucleic acids and proteins employed in nature to perform specific tasks. Artificial self-assembled nanodevices have also been developed to mimic key biofunctions, and various nucleic acid- and protein-based functional nanoassemblies have been reported. However, functionally regulating these nanostructures is still a major challenge. Here we report a general approach to fine-tune the catalytic function of DNA-enzymatic nanosized assemblies by taking advantage of the trans-cis isomerization of azobenzene molecules. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to precisely modulate the structures and functions of an enzymatic assembly based on light-induced DNA scaffold switching. Via photocontrolled DNA conformational switching, the proximity of multiple enzyme catalytic centers can be adjusted, as well as the catalytic efficiency of cofactor-mediated DNAzymes. We expect that this approach will lead to the advancement of DNA-enzymatic functional nanostructures in future biomedical and analytical applications.
azobenzene; DNA-enzyme conjugation; enzyme cascade; photo controllable
The title compound, C17H16N2O3, has an E conformation about the azobenzene (–N=N–) linkage. The benzene rings are twisted slightly with respect to each other [6.79 (9)°], while the dihedral angle between the plane through the carboxy group and the attached benzene ring is 3.2 (2)°. In the crystal, molecules are oriented with the carboxy groups head-to-head, forming O—H⋯O hydrogen-bonded inversion dimers. These dimers are connected by C—H⋯O hydrogen-bonds into layers lying parallel to the (013) plane.
We describe the novel structure and behavior of a DNA-DDAB complex film cast from an organic solvent which exhibits a structural switching transition as it is dried or wetted with water. The film can be easily prepared by forming a complex between the negatively charged phosphate groups of DNA and the positively charged headgroup of the surfactant DDAB. This complex is then purified, dried, dissolved in isopropanol and cast onto a glass slide to form a self-standing film by means of slow evaporation. While the structure of the dried film was found to be composed of single-stranded DNA and a monolayer of DDAB, upon hydration of the film the structure switched to double stranded DNA complexed to a bilayer of DDAB. We expect that this phenomenon would serve as a useful model for the design of new responsive materials and programmable self-assembly.
In this research, the elastic behaviour of two Co thin films simultaneously deposited in an off-normal angle method was studied. Towards this end, two Si micro-cantilevers were simultaneously coated using pulsed laser deposition at an oblique angle, creating a Co nano-string surface morphology with a predetermined orientation. The selected position of each micro-cantilever during the coating process created longitudinal or transverse nano-strings. The anisotropic elastic behaviour of these Co films was determined by measuring the changes that took place in the resonant frequency of each micro-cantilever after this process of creating differently oriented plasma coatings had been completed. This differential procedure allowed us to determine the difference between the Young's modulus of the different films based on the different direction of the nano-strings. This difference was determined to be, at least, the 20% of the Young's modulus of the bulk Co.
PACS: 62.25.-g; 81.16.Rf; 68.60.Bs; 81.15.Fg; 68.37.Ef; 85.85.+j
This paper reports on the mechanical characterization of carbon nanomembranes (CNMs) with a thickness of 1 nm that are fabricated by electron-induced crosslinking of aromatic self-assembled monolayers (SAMs). A novel type of in situ bulge test employing an atomic force microscope (AFM) is utilized to investigate their mechanical properties. A series of biphenyl-based molecules with different types of terminal and/or anchor groups were used to prepare the CNMs, such as 4'-[(3-trimethoxysilyl)propoxy]-[1,1'-biphenyl]-4-carbonitrile (CBPS), 1,1'-biphenyl-4-thiol (BPT) and 4-nitro-1,1'-biphenyl-4-thiol (NBPT). The elastic properties, viscoelastic behaviors and ultimate tensile strength of these biphenyl-based CNMs are investigated and discussed.
bulge test; carbon nanomembrane; mechanical characterization; self-assembled monolayers; two-dimensional materials
The purpose of this research was to elucidate the significance of the changes in the mechanical and the volumetric properties on the moisture diffusivity through the polymer films. The internal stress concept was adapted and applied to estimate the relative impact of these property changes on the total stress experienced by a polymer film during storage. Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose free films were used as a model material prepared at various conditions and stored at different relative humidities. The changes in the internal stress of these films due to the moisture sorption were studied. It was demonstrated that the stress-relaxation of the films increases at increasing moisture content. At the point when there is a definite loss of stress in the film, which is at moisture content higher than 6%, was shown to correlate with the significant increase of the moisture diffusivity. Further investigations revealed that the loss of stress is especially due to the swelling of the polymer rather than the changes in the inherent strain (the quotient between the tensile strength and the modulus of elasticity) of the HPMC films. This implies that the impact of the moisture sorption on the diffusivity is predominantly via volume addition rather than via altering the mechanical properties. Additionally, the approach presented here also brings up a new application of the internal stress concept, which in essence suggests the possibility to estimate the diffusion coefficient from the sorption isotherm and the mechanical analysis data.
HPMC; internal stress; mechanical properties; moisture diffusion; swelling
We present a method for characterizing ultrathin films using sensitivity-enhanced atomic force acoustic microscopy, where a concentrated-mass cantilever having a flat tip was used as a sensitive oscillator. Evaluation was aimed at 6-nm-thick and 10-nm-thick diamond-like carbon (DLC) films deposited, using different methods, on a hard disk for the effective Young's modulus defined as E/(1 - ν2), where E is the Young's modulus, and ν is the Poisson's ratio. The resonant frequency of the cantilever was affected not only by the film's elasticity but also by the substrate even at an indentation depth of about 0.6 nm. The substrate effect was removed by employing a theoretical formula on the indentation of a layered half-space, together with a hard disk without DLC coating. The moduli of the 6-nm-thick and 10-nm-thick DLC films were 392 and 345 GPa, respectively. The error analysis showed the standard deviation less than 5% in the moduli.
Atomic force acoustic microscopy; Thin film; Elastic modulus; Diamond-like carbon; Concentrated-mass cantilever
Surface-modification of the elastomer poly(dimethylsiloxane) by exposure to oxygen plasma for four minutes creates a thin, stiff film. In this study, the thickness and mechanical properties of this surface-modified layer were determined. Using the phase image capabilities of a tapping-mode atomic-force microscope, the surface-modified region was distinguished from the bulk PDMS; specifically, it suggested a graded surface layer to a depth of about 200 nm. Load-displacement data for elastic indentation using a compliant AFM cantilever was analyzed as a plate bending on an elastic foundation to determine the elastic modulus of the surface (37 MPa). An applied uniaxial strain generated a series of parallel nano-cracks with spacing on the order of a few microns. Numerical analyses of this cracking phenomenon showed that the depth of these cracks was in the range of 300–600 nm and that the surface layer was extremely brittle, with its toughness in the range of 0.1–0.3 J/m2.
The title compound, C16H11N3O2, displays a trans configuration with respect to the azo group. The molecule is non-planar; the maleimide ring forms a dihedral angle of 42.35 (4)° with the benzene ring bonded to its N atom and the mean plane of this benzene ring is rotated by 21.46 (8)° with respect to the azo group mean plane, which, in turn, forms a dihedral angle of 24.48 (7)° with the ‘terminal’ benzene ring. Molecules in the crystal are π–π stacked along the  direction with a mean interplanar distance of 3.857 (1) Å. In addition, C—H⋯O interactions link them into double layers parallel to the ac plane.
The title compound, C19H15ClN2S, a divalent organosulfur compound belonging to the class of ortho-mercaptoazo compounds, is non-ionic in nature. The azo group in the molecule is moved away from the S atom to attain the stable trans-azo configuration. Here the S atom is not electron deficient, so no intramolecular N⋯S interaction exists. Due to steric reasons, the molecule is non-planar: the chlorophenyl and benzyl rings are oriented at dihedral angles of 3.21 (8) and 78.18 (5)°, respectively, with respect to the thiophenyl ring. There are no hydrogen bonds and the crystal structure is stabilized by van der Waals interactions.
When a tensile strain is applied to a film supported on a compliant substrate, a pattern of parallel cracks can channel through both the film and substrate. A linear-elastic fracture-mechanics model for the phenomenon is presented to extend earlier analyses in which cracking was limited to the film. It is shown how failure of the substrate reduces the critical strain required to initiate fracture of the film. This effect is more pronounced for relatively tough films. However, there is a critical ratio of the film to substrate toughness above which stable cracks do not form in response to an applied load. Instead, catastrophic failure of the substrate occurs simultaneously with the propagation of a single channel crack. This critical toughness ratio increases with the modulus mismatch between the film and substrate, so that periodic crack patterns are more likely to be observed with relatively stiff films. With relatively low values of modulus mismatch, even a film that is more brittle than the substrate can cause catastrophic failure of the substrate. Below the critical toughness ratio, there is a regime in which stable crack arrays can be formed in the film and substrate. The depth of these arrays increases, while the spacing decreases, as the strain is increased. Eventually, the crack array can become deep enough to cause substrate failure.
Background and the purpose of the study
Mechanical properties of films prepared from aqueous dispersion and organic solutions of Eudragit RL were assessed and the effects of plasticizer type, concentration and curing were examined.
Films were prepared from aqueous dispersion and solutions of Eudragit RL (isopropy alcohol-water 9:1) containing 0, 10 or 20% (based on polymer weight) of PEG 400 or Triethyl Citrate (TEC) as plasticizer using casting method. Samples of films were stored in oven at 60°C for 24 hrs (Cured). The stress-strain curve was obtained for each film using material testing machine and tensile strength, elastic modulus, %elongation and work of failure were calculated.
Results and major conclusion
The films with no plasticizer showed different mechanical properties depending on the vehicle used. Addition of 10% or 20% of plasticizer decreased the tensile strength and elastic modulus and increased %elongation and work of failure for all films. The effect of PEG 400 on mechanical properties of Eudragit RL films was more pronounced. The differences in mechanical properties of the films due to vehicle decreased with addition of plasticizer and increase in its concentration. Curing process weakened the mechanical properties of the films with no plasticizer and for films with 10% plasticizer no considerable difference in mechanical properties was observed before and after curing. For those with 20% plasticizer only films prepared from aqueous dispersion showed remarkable difference in mechanical properties before and after curing. Results of this study suggest that the mechanical properties of the Eudragit RL films were affected by the vehicle, type of plasticizer and its concentration in the coating liquid.
Eudragit RL; Aqueous polymeric dispersion; Plasticizer; Polymeric film
The title molecule, C17H13N5O4S, has a trans configuration with respect to the diazenyl (azo) group. The pyrimidine ring and the terminal benzene ring are inclined at angles of 89.38 (4) and 1.6 (6)°, respectively, with respect to the central benzene ring. The conformation of the molecule is in part stabilized by an intramolecular O—H⋯O hydrogen bond. In the crystal structure, molecules related through inversion centers form hydrogen-bonded dimers involving the sulfonamide N—H group and the N atom of the pyrimidine ring.
The title compound (C. I. Solvent Yellow 8), C16H12N2O, crystallizes with two crystallographically independent molecules in the asymmetric unit. The planarity of both molecules is slightly distorted, the dihedral angles between the benzene ring and the naphthalene system being 9.04 (8) and 5.69 (3)°. In the crystal, O—H⋯N hydrogen bonds between the hydroxy groups and azo N atoms link the two symmetry-independent molecules into a polymeric chain propagating in .
The asymmetric unit of the title compound, 2C20H26N2O3·H2O, contains two independent molecules and one water molecule. The azo bonds adopt trans conformations and the dihedral angles between the aromatic rings in the two organic molecules are 4.5 (2) and 1.5 (2)°. In the crystal structure, O—H⋯O and C—H⋯O hydrogen bonds help to establish the packing.
The integrity, function, and performance of biomedical devices having thin polymeric coatings are critically dependent on the mechanical properties of the film, including the elastic modulus. In this report, the elastic moduli of several tyrosine-derived polycarbonate thin films, specifically desaminotyrosyl ethyl tyrosine polycarbonates p(DTE carbonate), an iodinated derivative p(I2-DTE carbonate), and several discrete blends are measured using a method based on surface wrinkling. The data shows that the elastic modulus does not vary significantly with the blend composition as the weight percentage of p(I2-DTE carbonate) increases for films of uniform thickness in the range of 67 to 200 nm. As a function of film thickness, the observed elastic moduli of p(DTE carbonate), p(I2-DTE carbonate) and their 50:50 by mass blend show little variation over the range 30 to 200 nm.
We report an approach to the design of reactive polymer films that can be functionalized post-fabrication to either prevent or promote the attachment and growth of cells. Our approach is based on the reactive layer-by-layer assembly of covalently crosslinked thin films using a synthetic polyamine and a polymer containing reactive azlactone functionality. Our results demonstrate (i) that the residual azlactone functionality in these films can be exploited to immobilize amine-functionalized chemical motifs similar to those that promote or prevent cell and protein adhesion when assembled as self-assembled monolayers on gold-coated surfaces, and (ii) that the immobilization of these motifs changes significantly the behaviors and interactions of cells with the surfaces of these polymer films. We demonstrate that films treated with the hydrophobic molecule decylamine support the attachment and growth of mammalian cells in vitro. In contrast, films treated with the hydrophilic carbohydrate D-glucamine prevent cell adhesion and growth almost completely. The results of additional experiments suggest that these large differences in cell behavior can be understood, at least in part, in terms of differences in the abilities of these two different chemical motifs to promote or prevent the adsorption of protein onto film coated surfaces. We demonstrate further that this approach can be used to pattern regions of these reactive films that resist the initial attachment and subsequent invasion of mammalian cells for periods of at least one month in the presence of serum-containing cell culture media. Finally, we report that films that prevent the adhesion and growth of mammalian cells also prevent the initial formation of bacterial biofilms when incubated in the presence of the clinically relevant pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The results of these studies, collectively, suggest the basis of general approaches to the fabrication and functionalization of thin films that prevent, promote, or pattern cell growth or the formation of biofilms on surfaces of interest in the contexts of both fundamental biological studies and a broad range of other practical applications.
This paper reviews some recent progress on approaches leading to spatial and temporal control of surfactant systems. The approaches revolve around the use of redox-active and light-sensitive surfactants. Perspectives are presented on experiments that have realized approaches for active control of interfacial properties of aqueous surfactant systems, reversible control of microstructures and nanostructures formed within bulk solutions, and in situ manipulation of the interactions of surfactants with polymers, DNA and proteins. A particular focus of this review is devoted to studies of amphiphiles that contain the redox-active group ferrocene – reversible control of the oxidation state of ferrocene leads to changes in the charge/hydrophobicity of these amphiphiles, resulting in substantial changes in their self-assembly. Light-sensitive surfactants containing azobenzene, which undergo changes in shape/polarity upon illumination with light, are a second focus of this review. Examples of both redox-active and light-sensitive surfactants that lead to large (> 20mN/m) and spatially localized (~mm) changes in surface tensions on a time scale of seconds are presented. Systems that permit reversible transformations of bulk solution nanostructures – such as micelle-to-vesicle transitions or monomer-to-micelle transitions – are also described. The broad potential utility of these emerging classes of amphiphiles are illustrated by the ability to drive changes in functional properties of surfactant systems, such as rheological properties and reversible solubilization of oils, as well as the ability to control interactions of surfactants with biomolecules to modulate their transport into cells.
The title compound, C16H10N2O8·2C3H7NO, was synthesized by the reductive condensation reaction of 5-nitroisophthalic acid in the presence of NaOH. The tetra-acid molecule, which has a crystallographically imposed centre of symmetry, adopts an E configuration with respect to the azo group. In the crystal packing, molecules are linked through intermolecular O—H⋯O and C—H⋯O hydrogen-bonding interactions, forming chains propagating in .
The asymmetric unit of the title compound, C12H12N4O2, consists of one half-molecule, which is located on a center of inversion. The molecule has a step-like shape; the azo group adopting a trans configuration, with the pyridine rings being parallel-displace.
The mechanical properties of organic and biomolecular thin films on surfaces play an important role in a broad range of applications. Although force-modulation microscopy (FMM) is used to map the apparent elastic properties of such films with high lateral resolution in air, it has rarely been applied in aqueous media. In this letter we describe the use of FMM to map the apparent elastic properties of self-assembled monolayers and end-tethered protein thin films in aqueous media. Furthermore, we describe a simple analysis of the contact mechanics that enables the selection of FMM imaging parameters and thus yields a reliable interpretation of the FMM image contrast.
acoustic atomic force microscopy; biomolecules; elastic modulus mapping; nanomechanical characterization; self-assembled monolayers
In the title compound, C27H17N3O4, the azo group displays a trans conformation and the dihedral angles between the central benzene ring and the pendant anthracene and nitrobenzene rings are 82.94 (7) and 7.30 (9)°, respectively. In the crystal structure, weak C—H⋯O hydrogen bonds, likely associated with a dipole moment present on the molecule, help to consolidate the packing.
The molecular geometry of the title compound, C17H18N2O2, displays an E configuration with respect to the azo group. The dihedral angle between the aromatic rings is 10.39 (4)°. In the molecule, an intramolecular O—H⋯O hydrogen bond generates an S(6) ring motif.