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Publication Date

Spring 2011

Degree Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Chemical and Materials Engineering


Melanie mcNeil


Layer-by-layer self assembly, Magnetic Nanoparticles, Star Polymers

Subject Areas

Chemical Engineering


In this work, multi-layered thin film materials comprised of cobalt ferrite (CoFe2O4) magnetic nanoparticles and polystyrene amine-functionalized (PS-NH2) star polymers have been prepared on silicon dioxide surfaces by means of organometallic-driven layer-by-layer (LBL) self-assembly. The films formed were characterized using surface plasmon resonance (SPR) spectroscopy, which indicated the rapid formation (sub-second to second time frames) of reproducible molecular thin layers. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) showed that the films produced were contiguous and stable in the dry state. The film thickness and layer uniformity were characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), which showed cross-sectional separation of the individual inorganic layers of the films in the dry state. Mechanical stability of the film was achieved by forming a thin silicate coating over the film surface. The ability to nanostructure the films by a layer-by-layer self-assembly technique presents a promising way to produce high-density data storage materials for application in magnetic media.