Micro- and nanotechnology via reaction–diffusion
Reaction–diffusion (RD) processes are common throughout nature, which uses them routinely to build and control structures on length scales from molecular to macroscopic. At the same time, despite a long history of scientific research and a significant level of understanding of the basic aspects of RD, reaction–diffusion has remained an unrealized technological opportunity. This review suggests that RD systems can provide a versatile basis for applications in micro- and nanotechnology. Straightforward experimental methods are described that allow precise control of RD processes in complex microgeometries and enable fabrication of small-scale structures, devices, and functional systems. Uses of RD in sensory applications are also discussed.