Material versatility using replica molding for large-scale fabrication of high aspect-ratio, high density arrays of nano-pillars

Arrays of high aspect-ratio (AR) nano-pillars have attracted a lot of interest for various applications, such as for use in solar cells, surface acoustic sensors, tissue engineering, bio-inspired adhesives and anti-reflective surfaces. Each application may require a different structural material, which can vary in the required chemical composition and mechanical properties. In this paper, a low cost fabrication procedure is proposed for large scale, high AR and high density arrays of nano-pillars. The proposed method enables the replication of a master with high fidelity, using the subsequent replica molds multiple times, and preparing arrays of nano-pillars in a variety of different materials. As an example applied to bio-inspired dry adhesion, polymeric arrays of nano-pillars are prepared in this work. Thermoset and thermoplastic nano-pillar arrays are examined using an atomic force microscope to assess their adhesion strength and its uniformity. Results indicate the proposed method is robust and can be used to reliably prepare nano-structures with a high AR.

Li, Y, H W Ng, B D Gates, C Menon






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