Capillary Force Helps Nanostructures Self-Assemble

By combining laser printing and capillary action, researchers have developed a highly tunable method to synthesize nanostructures.

AsianScientist (Jun. 18, 2015) – When it comes to nanoscale manufacturing, capillary action can be extremely destructive, distorting tiny nanostructures. However, researchers from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) have now turned the problem on its head, using capillary force to help build complex, self-assembling microstructures instead. Their work has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Professor Chu Jiaru and his team from the USTC School of Engineering Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), in collaboration with Swinburne University of Technology, combined laser printing and capillary force to create hierarchical functional structures.

To produce these microstructures, the researchers used a technique called laser printing capillary-assisted self-assembly, preparing a series of microfilament arrays with highly controllable and consistent structure, size, mechanical constant and spatial distribution.

Through manual control of the surface tension between liquid and the nanostructures, the microfilament array can be regulated with high precision, allowing the researchers to realize hierarchical structure self-assembly and selective capture or release of micro objects.

“This technique provides vital process for producing bionic structure or equipment at micro-nano scale, also it is a brand new technology for particle screening, capturing and transferring at micro-nano scale,” said Dr. Hu Yanlei from USTC.

This manufacturing process is easy to control with high yield and environment protecting, which might be applied to analytical chemistry, drug delivery/release, cell biology, microfluidic engineering and other fields in the future.

The article can be found at: Hu et al. (2015) Laser Printing Hierarchical Structures With The Aid Of Controlled Capillary-Driven Self-Assembly.


Source: Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

Asian Scientist Magazine is an award-winning science and technology magazine that highlights R&D news stories from Asia to a global audience. The magazine is published by Singapore-headquartered Wildtype Media Group.

Related Stories from Asian Scientist