Direct Control of the Spatial Distribution and Arrays of Micro- or Nano-meter Scale Object Across Large Areas by Fluid Evaporation on Patterned Surfaces

Our technology combines two simple processing procedures: (1) patterning surfaces with regions of differing wettability, and (2) evaporating liquid droplets containing functional nano-objects or molecules on the patterned surfaces. The combination of these procedures results in a highly parallelized method to create surfaces with a great degree of flexibility and simultaneous control over surface patterns, surface morphology, and surface composition. We create patterned surfaces with regions of differing wettability using a variety of techniques including soft lithography. Our patterns may be morphologically complex, possess features with lengthscales from tens of nanometers to microns (or larger), and may be fabricated on non-flat substrates. Subsequent evaporation of fluid film samples containing functional objects or molecules results in the objects themselves being deposited in highly organized arrays corresponding to the underlying wetting/non-wetting patterned surfaces. Further degrees of control over the deposited objects are realized by the addition to the fluid of suitable surfactant molecules that can modify the flow fields within the droplets so as to affect the spatial distribution of the deposited objects on scales significantly smaller even than the droplets. Description (Set) Proposed Use (Set) Applications for this technology are broadly encompassed by the fields of micro and nanofabrication. We specifically envision high-impact in the following fields: * Rapid throughput screening or deposition of suspended biomaterials, with applications in sensor fabrication. * Patterned arrays of cell growth receptors for tissue engineering. * Rapid deposition and ordering of nanomaterials

Inventor(s): Stebe, Kathleen Joan

Type of Offer: Licensing

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