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Laser technique for low-cost self-assembly of nanostructures

Wednesday May 20 2015

An international research team from Swinburne's Centre for Micro-Photonics and the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) have applied laser writing technology to control the application of capillary forces in the self assembly of bio-inspired hierarchical structures.

An international research team from Swinburne's Centre for Micro-Photonics and the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) have applied laser writing technology to control the application of capillary forces in the self assembly of bio-inspired hierarchical structures.

The team demonstrated that the precise positioning and size control offered by the laser writing of nano-filaments enables the usually destructive capillary force to be precisely controlled. Whereas randomly placed nano-filaments will form arbitrary patterns and groups under the influence of capillary forces (much like wet hairs clump together randomly), the teams filaments formed highly ordered and hierarchical structures.

This low-cost technique holds promise for a range of scientific and technological applications, such as in the trapping of micro-particles for transport between solutions or for mimicking the precise placement of natural filament structures such as gecko feet with remarkable adhesion properties.

The work has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America, PNAS.