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Large-Scale and Well-Ordered Assembly of Microspheres in a Small Container

Li, Jian, Li, Jin, Xia, Xing-Hua
Langmuir 2019 v.35 no.25 pp. 8413-8417
containers, liquids, microparticles, polyethylene, polystyrenes, silicon, surface tension, wafers, wettability
Colloidal self-assembly monolayers (SAMs) formed by the Langmuir?Blodgett (LB) process have been widely applied in modern research. The quality of the closely packed 2D or 3D arrays would determine their performance and applications. Herein, we study the influence of the surface wettability of containers on the self-assembly process of polystyrene microspheres using LB technology. It is found that the variation of surface tension at the gas/liquid/solid phase determines the quality of the PS colloidal SAMs. By carefully controlling the surface wettability of the containers, a square centimeter level of well-ordered polystyrene (PS) microsphere SAMs in a small polyethylene (PE) container can be achieved. This method can be used to fabricate PS SAMs with different sphere sizes. In addition, the PS SAMs can be easily transferred onto silica-coated silicon and silicon wafers for further fabricating triangle antenna arrays at a square centimeter level that allows for the study the IR resonances of antennas with conventional IR instrument. The present study provides a simple approach to the fabrication of large-scale and well-ordered colloidal SAMs for further applications.