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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Sep 13;108(37):15106-11. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1110676108. Epub 2011 Sep 6.

3D lithography by rapid curing of the liquid instabilities at nanoscale.

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  • 1Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche Istituto Nazionale di Ottica-Sezione di Napoli, Via Campi Flegrei, 34-80078 Pozzuoli, Naples, Italy.

Abstract

In liquids realm, surface tension and capillarity are the key forces driving the formation of the shapes pervading the nature. The steady dew drops appearing on plant leaves and spider webs result from the minimization of the overall surface energy [Zheng Y, et al. (2010) Nature 463:640-643]. Thanks to the surface tension, the interfaces of such spontaneous structures exhibit extremely good spherical shape and consequently worthy optical quality. Also nanofluidic instabilities generate a variety of fascinating liquid silhouettes, but they are however intrinsically short-lived. Here we show that such unsteady liquid structures, shaped in polymeric liquids by an electrohydrodynamic pressure, can be rapidly cured by appropriate thermal treatments. The fabrication of many solid microstructures exploitable in photonics is demonstrated, thus leading to a new concept in 3D lithography. The applicability of specific structures as optical tweezers and as novel remotely excitable quantum dots-embedded microresonators is presented.

PMID:
21896720
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3174595
Free PMC Article

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