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Meso-Patterning of Thin Polymer Films by Controlled Dewetting: From Nano-Droplet Arrays to Membranes

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Abstract:

Controlled dewetting of thin polymer films on physically heterogeneous substrates is employed as a new soft lithography route to obtain various types of ordered meso-scale structures, including nano-membranes and ordered arrays of nano-droplets. Dewetting of a thin polymer film on a defect free homogeneous surface occurs by a randomly placed collection of holes and droplets with a well-defined spacing. In contrast, on a physically patterned surface, strong influence of the underlying pattern is observed on the dewetting pathways as well as on the ordering and size of the resulting meso-scale structures. The imposed periodicity of the substrate pattern vis-à-vis the spinodal length scale of dewetting provides a powerful tool for the morphology and size control. The thickness of the film and the kinetics of dewetting are the other important parameters that govern the morphology of the resulting structures.

Keywords: DEWETTING; MESOSCOPIC SELF-ASSEMBLY; SELF-ORGANIZED STRUCTURE; SURFACE INSTABILITY; THIN FILM

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1166/jnn.2007.771

Publication date: 2007-06-01

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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