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Tailored Topography: A Novel Fabrication Technique using Elasticity Gradient


A facile methodology to create a wrinkled surface with tailored topography is presented herein. The dependency of the elasticity of poly (dimethyl) siloxane (PDMS) on the curing temperature has been exploited to obtain a substrate with an elasticity gradient. The temperature gradient across the length of the PDMS is created by a novel set up consisting of a metal and insulator connected to a heater and the highest usable (no degradation of the PDMS) temperature gradient is used. The time-dependent temperature distributions along the substrate are measured and the underlying physics of the dependence of PDMS elasticity on the curing temperature is addressed. The PDMS substrate with the elasticity gradient is first stretched and subsequently oxidized by oxygen plasma. Upon relaxation, an ordered wrinkled surface with continuously varying wavelength and amplitude along the length of PDMS is obtained. The extent of hydrophobicity recovery of this plasma oxidized PDMS with varying elasticity has been studied. The change in the wavelength and amplitude of the regular patterns on the substrate can be controlled by varying operational parameters like applied pre-strain, plasma power and the heater temperature. It has been found that the spatial distributions of the topography and the hydrophobicity collectively decide the resultant wettability of the substrate. Such surfaces with gradients in the substructure dimensions demonstrate different wetting characteristics that may lead to a wide gamut of applications including droplet movement, cell adhesion, and proliferation, diffraction grating etc.

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Publication details

The article was received on 22 May 2018, accepted on 27 Jul 2018 and first published on 30 Jul 2018

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8SM01054D
Citation: Soft Matter, 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    Tailored Topography: A Novel Fabrication Technique using Elasticity Gradient

    V. Parihar, S. Bandyopadhyay, S. Das, R. Mukherjee, S. Chakraborty and S. DasGupta, Soft Matter, 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C8SM01054D

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