Efficient formation of single-particle thick microstructures by direct writing

Z. Rozynek, A. Magdziarz

Keywords: direct writing, single-particle thick, preiodic, pearl


Assembly of single-particle thick one-dimensional microstructures on substrates is desired for performing different fundamental studies, and holds promise for a variety of practical applications. There are many approaches for fabrication of such structures, but they are expensive, time-consuming, or inefficient, requiring access to advanced tools and laboratories. Moreover, they are not suitable for fabricating microstructures with programmable shapes, arbitrary lengths, and positioning. Here we report a method that overcomes these limitations and facilitates the continuous production of particle paths outside bulk liquid on various substrate materials and morphologies, using a variety of particle materials with wide size range. We also demonstrate that the method enables printing particle microstructures using two or more particle types to form binary superstructures. The method is simple yet robust and easy to implement, and is straightforwardly scalable, involving a synergetic action of electric-field assembly, capillary and electrostatic interactions. Various aspects of our method, including the role of particle size and the voltages needed, are studied in detail.