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J Am Chem Soc. 2004 Oct 27;126(42):13778-86.

Large-scale fabrication of wafer-size colloidal crystals, macroporous polymers and nanocomposites by spin-coating.

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Corning Science and Technology, Corning Incorporated, Corning, New York 14831, USA.


This paper reports a simple spin-coating technique for rapidly fabricating three types of technologically important materials--colloidal crystal, macroporous polymer, and polymeric nanocomposite, each with high crystalline qualities and wafer-scale sizes. Dispersion of monodisperse silica colloids in triacrylate monomers is spin-coated onto a variety of substrates. Shear-induced ordering and subsequent polymerization lead to the formation of three-dimensionally (3D) ordered colloidal crystals trapped inside a polymer matrix. The thickness of as-synthesized colloidal crystal-polymer nanocomposite is highly uniform and can be controlled simply by changing the spin speed and time. Selective removal of the polymer matrix and silica spheres lead to the formation of large-area colloidal crystals and macroporous polymers, respectively. The wafer-scale process is compatible with standard semiconductor microfabrication, as multiple micrometer-sized patterns can be created simultaneously for potential device applications. Normal-incidence transmission spectra in the visible and near-infrared regions show distinct peaks due to Bragg diffraction from 3D ordered structures. The spin-coating process opens a new route to the fundamental studies of shear-induced crystallization, melting and relaxation.

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