Guiding the Dewetting of Thin Polymer Films by Colloidal Imprinting

28 November 2019

Micropatterned surfaces are important in many biomedical and bioengineering applications, such as the development of biosensors. An approach for the creation of ordered surface patterns, fabricated combining colloidal crystals, consisting of ordered layers of micrometric particles, with dewetting of bilayers of thin polymer fi lms is introduced. The produced patterns are both topographical and chemical in nature, consisting of ordered arrays of microscale holes imprinted in a polymer fi lm, with tunable size. The spontaneous dewetting of the polymer fi lm enables this tunability, with a maximum sevenfold increase in lateral size of the holes and sixfold increase in depth from imprinting to coalescence with neighboring holes. Polymer dewetting and layer inversion are seen to compete during the annealing of the polymer bilayers, and the optimal conditions for hole growth are identifi ed. An indepth investigation highlights the effects of UV-ozone treatment on the longrange ordering of the colloidal crystals and on preventing the dewetting of the imprinted bilayers. Ordered patterns of different size and depth are produced over large areas by tuning of the colloidal crystal assembly, UV surface treatment and dewetting conditions. Potential applications of the micropatterns produced in the present work include microarrays for single cell studies and biosensors.