- Proton transfer reactions,
- Buffer solutions
The elastic mechanical response of a poly(4-vinylpyridine) film is exploited to create nanostructures under ambient conditions via dip pen nanolithography. Using a pH 4 phosphate buffer solution as the "ink," a series of experimental results indicates that the nanometer-sized structures are due to local swelling of the film’s pyridyl groups upon their protonation with the hydronium ions delivered by the tip. Control over the structures’ height is gained by properly selecting the writing velocities or the dwell time, respectively.