Microstructures of poly (ethylene glycol) by molding and dewetting

Suh, Kahp Y.; Langer, Robert
August 2003
Applied Physics Letters;8/25/2003, Vol. 83 Issue 8, p1668
Academic Journal
We report on the fabrication of microstructures of poly (ethylene glycol) (PEG) using a soft molding technique. When a patterned poly (dimethylsiloxane) stamp is placed on a wet PEG film, the polymer in contact with the stamp spontaneously moves into the void space as a result of capillary action. Three types of microstructures are observed with the substrate surface completely exposed: a negative replica of the stamp, a two-dimensional projection of the simple cubic structure, and a two-dimensional projection of the diamond structure. A molding process is responsible for the first type and a dewetting process for the final two. A phase diagram is constructed based on the effects of molecular weight and concentration, which shows that mobility and confinement play a crucial role in determining the particular type of microstructure obtained. The PEG microstructure could be used as a lithographic resist in fabricating electronic devices and a resistant layer for preventing nonspecific adsorption of proteins or cells. © 2003 American Institute of Physics.


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