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In the study, a novel and low cost nanofabrication process is proposed for producing hybrid polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) nanostructured arrays. The proposed process involves monolayer self-assembly of polystyrene (PS) spheres, PDMS nanoreplication, thin film coating, and PDMS to PDMS (PDMS/PDMS) replication. A self-assembled monolayer of PS spheres is used as the first template. Second, a PDMS template is achieved by replica moulding. Third, the PDMS template is coated with a platinum or gold layer. Finally, a PDMS nanostructured array is developed by casting PDMS slurry on top of the coated PDMS. The cured PDMS is peeled off and used as a replica surface. In this study, the influences of the coating on the PDMS topography, contact angle of the PDMS slurry and the peeling off ability are discussed in detail. From experimental evaluation, a thickness of at least 20 nm gold layer or 40 nm platinum layer on the surface of the PDMS template improves the contact angle and eases peeling off. The coated PDMS surface is successfully used as a template to achieve the replica with a uniform array via PDMS/PDMS replication process. Both the PDMS template and the replica are free of defects and also undistorted after demoulding with a highly ordered hexagonal arrangement. In addition, the geometry of the nanostructured PDMS can be controlled by changing the thickness of the deposited layer. The simplicity and the controllability of the process show great promise as a robust nanoreplication method for functional applications.
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