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Issue 11, 2010
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Template-free structuring of colloidal hetero-monolayers by inkjet printing and particle floating

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Abstract

Here we demonstrate the feasibility of a novel approach to simultaneously pattern surfaces with heterogeneous colloidal monolayers on various length scales from tens of µm down to nanometres by a combination of simple inkjet printing and nanosphere lithography. The process involves inkjet printing of different particle types in a pre-pattern with sparsely distributed particles on an initial substrate. After immersion in water the particles float off the substrate and self-assemble into a dense and hexagonally ordered colloidal monolayer, with a concomitant 1D contraction of the pre-pattern along the immersion direction. While nanosphere lithography yields the nanostructures, the superimposed µm scale pattern is defined by the inkjet printing process, leading to hexagonally ordered colloidal monolayers of various particles sizes or materials in parallel. Since the µm pattern with arbitrary shape is simply designed on a computer and printed, the process does not require any customized template or mask to be fabricated. Due to its simplicity the computer-assisted method shows great potential for automatization, which should substantially improve structure quality and turn it into a technologically promising approach.

Graphical abstract: Template-free structuring of colloidal hetero-monolayers by inkjet printing and particle floating

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Article information


Submitted
20 Jan 2010
Accepted
03 Mar 2010
First published
01 Apr 2010

Soft Matter, 2010,6, 2403-2412
Article type
Paper

Template-free structuring of colloidal hetero-monolayers by inkjet printing and particle floating

M. Retsch, K. Dostert, S. K. Nett, N. Vogel, J. S. Gutmann and U. Jonas, Soft Matter, 2010, 6, 2403
DOI: 10.1039/C001306D

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