Patterned assembly of colloidal particles by confined dewetting lithography

Hugo Celio, Emily Barton, Keith J. Stevenson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


We report the assembly of colloidal particles into confined arrangements and patterns on various cleaned and chemically modified solid substrates using a method which we term "confined dewetting lithography" or CDL for short. The experimental setup for CDL is a simple deposition cell where an aqueous suspension of colloidal particles (e.g., polystyrene spheres) is placed between a floating deposition template (i.e., metal microgrid) and the solid substrate. The voids of the deposition template serve as an array of micrometer-sized reservoirs where several hydrodynamic processes are confined. These processes include water evaporation, meniscus formation, convective flow, rupturing, dewetting, and capillary-bridge formation. We discuss the optimal conditions where the CDL has a high efficiency to deposit intricate patterns of colloidal particles using polystyrene spheres (PS; 4.5, 2.0, 1.7, 0.11, 0.064 μm diameter) and square and hexagonal deposition templates as model systems. We find that the optimization conditions of the CDL method, when using submicrometer, sulfate-functionalized PS particles, are primarily dependent on minimizing attractive particle-substrate interactions. The CDL methodology described herein presents a relatively simple and rapid method to assemble virtually any geometric pattern, including more complex patterns assembled using PS particles with different diameters, from aqueous suspensions by choosing suitable conditions and materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11426-11435
Number of pages10
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes


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