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Issue 2, 2017
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Surface tension-driven self-alignment

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Abstract

Surface tension-driven self-alignment is a passive and highly-accurate positioning mechanism that can significantly simplify and enhance the construction of advanced microsystems. After years of research, demonstrations and developments, the surface engineering and manufacturing technology enabling capillary self-alignment has achieved a degree of maturity conducive to a successful transfer to industrial practice. In view of this transition, a broad and accessible review of the physics, material science and applications of capillary self-alignment is presented. Statics and dynamics of the self-aligning action of deformed liquid bridges are explained through simple models and experiments, and all fundamental aspects of surface patterning and conditioning, of choice, deposition and confinement of liquids, and of component feeding and interconnection to substrates are illustrated through relevant applications in micro- and nanotechnology. A final outline addresses remaining challenges and additional extensions envisioned to further spread the use and fully exploit the potential of the technique.

Graphical abstract: Surface tension-driven self-alignment

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Publication details

The article was received on 12 Sep 2016, accepted on 21 Nov 2016 and first published on 21 Nov 2016


Article type: Review Article
DOI: 10.1039/C6SM02078J
Soft Matter, 2017,13, 304-327
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
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    Surface tension-driven self-alignment

    M. Mastrangeli, Q. Zhou, V. Sariola and P. Lambert, Soft Matter, 2017, 13, 304
    DOI: 10.1039/C6SM02078J

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