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Chemistry In Pictures

Chemistry in Pictures: Patterning that rubs the right way

Fluoropolymers power precise particle placement

by Craig Bettenhausen
April 9, 2024


A microscale portrait of Albert Einstein, drawn in tiny beads.
Credit: ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2024, DOI: 10.1021/acsami.3c16830

Researchers developing new microscale patterning methods have a lot of fun showing off what their techniques can do. Though the eventual applications are often in pragmatic things like photonic or electronic devices, at the academic stage, we get to see tiny pictures of Albert Einstein and horses. In this case, the images consist of poly(methyl methacrylate) beads adhered to an SiO2 surface. Ignaas S. M. Jimidar, a chemical engineering postdoc at Vrije University Brussels, first printed the patterns as a fluorocarbon etched into the SiO2. He then manually rubbed on the polymer beads, which formed a crystalline monolayer arranged across the whole surface. A puff of air then blew the beads off everywhere except the fluorinated spots.

A micrometer-scale image of a horse, drawn in tiny beads.
Credit: ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2024, DOI: 10.1021/acsami.3c16830

Submitted by Ignaas S. M. Jimidar. Read more about the work here: ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2024, DOI: 10.1021/acsami.3c16830

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