Creating Nano-Wrinkles of Virtually any Design on the Surface of Polymers

Summary Creating Nano-Wrinkles of Virtually any Design on the Surface of Polymers

Elevator pitch: A new method has been developed at Harvard to design and create virtually any type of nano-wrinkle patterns on the surfaces of polymers. Anticipated applications for these hard-skin nano-wrinkled surfaces include tissue engineering, where the wrinkles can create custom-designed scaffolds for optimizing cell growth, and microfluidics, where customized wrinkle patterns can enable complex fluidic systems. The method uses focused ion beams and provides full control over (a) the area of pattern formation, (b) wrinkle morphology, and (c) size / wavelength. Typical wrinkle “wavelengths” are 50nm to 500nm.

The novelty: The invention describes a new method for developing wrinkled hard skins on the surface areas of polymers using a focused ion beam. By controlling beam motion and intensity, patters of wrinkles can be generated along desired paths and with the desired morphology – and only in the areas exposed to the beam. A variety of patterns can be created – from simple one-dimensional wrinkles to peculiar and complex hierarchical nested wrinkles. The wavelength of the wrinkles is controllable from 50 nanometers to over 500 nanometers.

Advantages: This is a simple, inexpensive, and robust one-step process for creating wrinkled skins on the surface of polymers. It can create virtually any pattern in a controlled and repeatable manner.

• Scaffolding for controlled cell growth (for tissue engineering and biological sensors)
• Microfluidic devices

Status of Development and IP: A utility patent was filed in July, 2006, title “A Method for Creation of Controlled Self-assembled Wrinkles on Polymer Substrate Using Focused Ion Beam Irradiation”. The method has been demonstrated to work on PDMS.

Reference: “Wrinkled Hard Skins on Polymers Created by Focused Ion Beam,” Moon, M., Lee, S., Sun, J., Oh, K., Vaziri, A., AMPERSAND Hutchinson, J., PNAS, 2007.

For further information, contact Daniel Behr (

Applications For Further Information Please Contact the Director of Business Development Daniel Behr Email: Telephone: (617) 495-3067

Inventor(s): Vaziri, Ashkan

Type of Offer: Licensing

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