Nanopatterning of Mobile Lipid Monolayers on Electron-Beam-Sculpted Teflon AF Surfaces

Direct electron-beam lithography is used to fabricate nanostructured Teflon AF surfaces, which are utilized to pattern surface-supported monolayer phospholipid films with 50 nm lateral feature size. In comparison with unexposed Teflon AF coatings, e-beam-irradiated areas show reduced surface tension and surface potential. For phospholipid monolayer spreading experiments, these areas can be designed to function as barriers that enclose unexposed areas of nanometer dimensions and confine the lipid film within. We show that the effectiveness of the barrier is defined by pattern geometry and radiation dose. This surface preparation technique represents an efficient, yet simple, nanopatterning strategy supporting studies of lipid monolayer behavior in ultraconfined spaces. The generated structures are useful for imaging studies of biomimetic membranes and other specialized surface applications requiring spatially controlled formation of self-assembled, molecularly thin films on optically transparent patterned polymer surfaces with very low autofluorescence.