One common and easily employed method for surface micropatterning is plasma lithography, in which a deformable mask is placed in contact with a substrate surface before plasma treatment to create a chemical template for subsequent processing steps. The exposed area of the masked substrate is functionalized with polar, hydroxyl groups (-OH), selectively rendering the surface hydrophilic. This hydrophilic pattern can be reversed or subsequently modified depending on the specific application. Typically, the mask is a molded PDMS layer, produced by soft lithography, but the patterned surface can be a wide range of materials, (polystyrene, glass, PDMS, pyrolytic graphite, etc) appropriate for the intended application.

This technique is used to investigate cell network interactions, self-assembly of quantum dots, fabrications of organic thin film transistors, and novel ways for fabricating patterned microfluidic devices. Patterned surfaces work as a guide for the attachment of cells and produce geometrically confined area for specific cell types.

In the following papers, you will find examples of the use of plasma lithography to pattern substrate surfaces.

Relevant Articles from Harrick Plasma Users

  • Junkin, M. & Wong, P. “Probing cell migration in confined environments by plasma lithography”, Biomaterials (2011) 32: 1848-1855.
  • Keyes, J.; Junkin, M.; Cappello, J.; Wu, X. Y. & Wong, P. K. “Evaporation-induced assembly of biomimetic polypeptides”, Applied Physics Letters, Amer Inst Physics (2008) 93: 023120.
  • Nam, K.-H.; Jamilpour, N.; Mfoumou, E.; Wang, F.-Y.; Zhang, D. D. & Wong, P. K. “Probing mechanoregulation of neuronal differentiation by plasma lithography patterned elastomeric substrates”, Sci. Rep., Nature Publishing Group (2014) 4: 6965.
  • Rahman, M. & Norton, M. L. “Multi-layer graphene grid and nanowire fabrication and printing”, Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Nanotechnology, Nanotechnology (IEEENANO), 2011 11th IEEE Conference (2011) 592 – 595.
  • Yang, Y.; Volmering, J.; Junkin, M. & Wong, P. K. “Comparative assembly of colloidal quantum dots on surface templates patterned by plasma lithography”, Soft Matter (2011) 7: 10085-10090.

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