Spontaneous Assembly of Extremely Long, Horizontally-Aligned, Conductive Gold Micro-Wires in a Langmuir Monolayer Template Academic Article uri icon


  • “Bottom‐up” technologies are based upon the premise that organized systems – from the nano‐scale up to the macro‐scale – can be assembled spontaneously from basic building blocks in solution. We demonstrate a simple strategy for the generation of extremely long (up to several centi­meters), horizontally‐aligned gold micro‐wires, produced through a surfactant monolayer template deposited from gold thiocyanate [Au(SCN)4−] aqueous solution. Specifically, we show that the surfactant, octyl‐maleimide (OM), spontaneously forms oriented micro‐wires at the air/water interface, which constitute a template for deposition of metallic gold through binding and crystallization of the soluble gold complex. The Au micro‐wires can be subsequently transferred onto solid substrates, and following plasma treatment and gold enhancement exhibit excellent conductivity even at electrode spacings of several centimeters. Importantly, the micro‐wire alignment determines the direction of electrical current, demonstrating that long‐range ordering of the micro‐wires can be accomplished, significantly affecting the physical properties of the system. The new approach is simple, robust, and can be readily exploited for bottom‐up fabrication of micro‐wire assemblies and transparent conductive electrodes.

publication date

  • January 1, 2014