Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Materials Science and Engineering

First Advisor

Vladimir V. Tsukruk

Second Advisor

David Vaknin


This study examined five different branched molecular architectures to discern the effect of design on the ability of molecules to form ordered structures at interfaces. Photochromic monodendrons formed kinked packing structures at the air-water interface due to the cross sectional area mismatch created by varying number of alkyl tails and the hydrophilic polar head group. The lower generations formed orthorhombic unit cell with long range ordering despite the alkyl tails tilted to a large degree. Favorable interactions between liquid crystalline terminal groups and the underlying substrate were observed to compel a flexible carbosilane dendrimer core to form a compressed elliptical conformation which packed stagger within lamellae domains with limited short range ordering. A twelve arm binary star polymer was observed to form two dimensional micelles at the air-water interface attributed to the higher polystyrene block composition. Linear rod-coil molecules formed a multitude of packing structures at the air-water interface due to the varying composition. Tree-like rod-coil molecules demonstrated the ability to form one-dimensional structures at the air-water interface and at the air-solvent interface caused by the preferential ordering of the rigid rod cores. The role of molecular architecture and composition was examined and the influence chemically competing fragments was shown to exert on the packing structure. The amphiphilic balance of the different molecular series exhibited control on the ordering behavior at the air-water interface and within bulk structures. The shell nature and tail type was determined to dictate the preferential ordering structure and molecular reorganization at interfaces with the core nature effect secondary.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Kirsten Larson Genson



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

199 pages