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Special Issue "Self-Assembly"

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A special issue of Micromachines (ISSN 2072-666X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2010)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Karl F. Böhringer

Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Washington, Box 352500, 234 EE/CSE Building, Seattle, WA 98195-2500, USA
Website | E-Mail
Fax: +1 206 543 3842
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Miko Elwenspoek

MESA+ Institute, University of Twente, PO box 217, NL 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands
Website | E-Mail
Fax: D: +49 761 203 97451; NL: +31 534 893 343
Interests: MEMS; wet etching of silicon; micro- and nano fluid handling

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Self-assembly is becoming an important fabrication tool of systems with features and components in an enormous size ranging from tens of nanometres to centimetres. It is a traditional tool in the growth of colloidal crystals and supramolecular chemistry, and many key processes in biology are based on self-assembly, e.g. the formation of membranes, the hybridization of DNA and the folding of proteins. In the field of MEMS self-assembly is being used on industrial scale for packaging, but the prospect of this technology is much wider: Self-assembly might become a viable route for the step from two-dimensional fabrication schemes to complex three-dimensional structures.
In view of the wide range of quite disparate disciplines it seems to be beneficial to publish a volume in Micromachines dedicated to self-assembly. Therefore we invite contributions from all areas of self-assembly covering the whole range of sizes of units and of applications. In particular we should like to have contributions on self-assembly in areas such as:

  • 3-D micro-and nanosystems
  • Artificial materials such as photonic crystals and meta materials
  • MEMS packaging
  • Colloidal crystals
  • Macromolecular self-assembly (monolayers, protein folding, DNA-origami)

We also welcome contributions related to self-assembly processes, including scaling issues, materials, interaction between units, transport, assistance by external fields (electromagnetic, flow, gradients in concentrations, pressure, temperature, etc.). The call is also for papers on the theory of self-assembly.

The type of papers can be contributions dealing with the latest work in the field, and reviews on all aspects of self-assembly from the different disciplines. Also, in accordance of the general policy of the journal, we invite research proposals, introducing ideas for new applications, new types of units and new types of technologies.

Prof. Dr. Karl F. Böhringer
Prof. Dr. Miko Elwenspoek
Guest Editors

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle Infrared Ellipsometric Study of Hydrogen-Bonded Long-Chain Thiolates on Gold: Towards Resolving Structural Details
Micromachines 2011, 2(2), 306-318; doi:10.3390/mi2020306
Received: 29 April 2011 / Revised: 18 June 2011 / Accepted: 19 June 2011 / Published: 22 June 2011
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (357 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A set of newly synthesized aryl-substituted amides of 16-mercaptohexadecanoic acid (R = 4-OH; 3,5-di-OH) are self-assembled on Au(111) substrate. Self assembled monolayers (SAMs) formed by these molecules are studied by ellipsometry from infrared to visible spectral range. Best fit calculations based on the
[...] Read more.
A set of newly synthesized aryl-substituted amides of 16-mercaptohexadecanoic acid (R = 4-OH; 3,5-di-OH) are self-assembled on Au(111) substrate. Self assembled monolayers (SAMs) formed by these molecules are studied by ellipsometry from infrared to visible spectral range. Best fit calculations based on the three-phase optical model are employed in order to determine the average tilt angle of the hydrocarbon chains. The data revealed that the SAMs reside in a crystalline-like environment as the long methylene chains predominantly exist in all-trans conformation. The calculated tilt angle of the hydrocarbon chain is decreased by approximately 12° in comparison with the one for the correspondent long-chain n-alkyl thiols. Strong hydrogen bonded networks were detected between the amide proton and the carbonyl oxygen as well as between hydroxyl groups in the end aryl substituents. The transition dipole moments of the C=O, N-H and O-H modes are oriented almost parallel to the gold surface. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Self-Assembly)
Open AccessArticle Self-Assembly of Microscale Parts through Magnetic and Capillary Interactions
Micromachines 2011, 2(1), 69-81; doi:10.3390/mi2010069
Received: 1 January 2011 / Revised: 20 February 2011 / Accepted: 23 February 2011 / Published: 1 March 2011
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (964 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Self-assembly is a promising technique to overcome fundamental limitations with integrating, packaging, and general handling of individual electronic-related components with characteristic lengths significantly smaller than 1 mm. Here we describe the use of magnetic and capillary forces to self-assemble 280 µm sized silicon building blocks
[...] Read more.
Self-assembly is a promising technique to overcome fundamental limitations with integrating, packaging, and general handling of individual electronic-related components with characteristic lengths significantly smaller than 1 mm. Here we describe the use of magnetic and capillary forces to self-assemble 280 µm sized silicon building blocks into interconnected structures which approach a three-dimensional crystalline configuration. Integrated permanent magnet microstructures provided magnetic forces, while a low-melting-point solder alloy provided capillary forces. A finite element model of forces between the magnetic features demonstrated the utility of magnetic forces at this size scale. Despite a slight departure from designed dimensions in the actual fabricated parts, the combination of magnetic and capillary forces improved the assembly yield to 8%, over approximately 0.1% achieved previously with capillary forces alone. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Self-Assembly)
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Open AccessArticle Self-Assembly of Chip-Size Components with Cavity Structures: High-Precision Alignment and Direct Bonding without Thermal Compression for Hetero Integration
Micromachines 2011, 2(1), 49-68; doi:10.3390/mi2010049
Received: 7 December 2010 / Revised: 16 January 2011 / Accepted: 17 January 2011 / Published: 18 February 2011
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (1433 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
New surface mounting and packaging technologies, using self-assembly with chips having cavity structures, were investigated for three-dimensional (3D) and hetero integration of complementary metal-oxide semiconductors (CMOS) and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). By the surface tension of small droplets of 0.5 wt% hydrogen fluoride (HF)
[...] Read more.
New surface mounting and packaging technologies, using self-assembly with chips having cavity structures, were investigated for three-dimensional (3D) and hetero integration of complementary metal-oxide semiconductors (CMOS) and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). By the surface tension of small droplets of 0.5 wt% hydrogen fluoride (HF) aqueous solution, the cavity chips, with a side length of 3 mm, were precisely aligned to hydrophilic bonding regions on the surface of plateaus formed on Si substrates. The plateaus have micro-channels to readily evaporate and fully remove the liquid from the cavities. The average alignment accuracy of the chips with a 1 mm square cavity was found to be 0.4 mm. The alignment accuracy depends, not only on the area of the bonding regions on the substrates and the length of chip periphery without the widths of channels in the plateaus, but also the area wetted by the liquid on the bonding regions. The precisely aligned chips were then directly bonded to the substrates at room temperature without thermal compression, resulting in a high shear bonding strength of more than 10 MPa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Self-Assembly)
Open AccessArticle Controlling Interfacial Adhesion of Self-Assembled Polypeptide Fibrils for Novel Nanoelectromechanical System (NEMS) Applications
Micromachines 2011, 2(1), 1-16; doi:10.3390/mi2010001
Received: 25 November 2010 / Revised: 17 December 2010 / Accepted: 5 January 2011 / Published: 17 January 2011
PDF Full-text (1715 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The relative adhesion of two genetically engineered polypeptides termed as H6-(YEHK)x21-H6 and C6-(YEHK)X21-H6 has been investigated following growth and self-assembly on highly oriented pyrolytic graphite (HOPG), SiO2, Ni, and Au substrates to study covalent surface attachment via histidine (H) and cysteine
[...] Read more.
The relative adhesion of two genetically engineered polypeptides termed as H6-(YEHK)x21-H6 and C6-(YEHK)X21-H6 has been investigated following growth and self-assembly on highly oriented pyrolytic graphite (HOPG), SiO2, Ni, and Au substrates to study covalent surface attachment via histidine (H) and cysteine (C) groups incorporated in the polypeptides. Both polypeptides formed predominantly bilayer fibrils upon deposition, in agreement with previous studies. The relative adhesion of polypeptide fibrils to the substrate, as well as intra-fibril cohesion, was examined via a forced-scanning method employing contact mode atomic force microscopy (AFM). H6-(YEHK)x21-H6 polypeptide fibrils were observed to detach from Ni, Au, SiO2, and HOPG substrates at normal tip forces of 106 ± 10 nN, 21 ± 3 nN, 22 ± 3 nN, and 3 ± 1 nN, respectively. C6-(YEHK)x21-H6 polypeptide fibrils were seen to detach from Au substrates at a normal spring force of 90 ± 10 nN. It is concluded that the H6-(YEHK)x21-H6 and C6-(YEHK)x21-H6 polypeptide fibrils are covalently attached to, respectively, Ni and Au substrates, which has important implications for the use of these materials for NEMS fabrication. The structural stability of deposited polypeptide fibrils was also evaluated by using normal tip forces less than those required for fibril detachment. H6-(YEHK)x21-H6 polypeptide fibrils on Ni substrates were the most structurally stable compared to C6-(YEHK)x21-H6 polypeptide fibrils on Au substrates. Controlled delayering of bilayer fibrils was also detected for sub-detachment normal forces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Self-Assembly)
Open AccessArticle Self-Assembled Three-Dimensional Non-Volatile Memories
Micromachines 2010, 1(1), 1-18; doi:10.3390/mi1010001
Received: 17 November 2009 / Accepted: 4 January 2010 / Published: 18 January 2010
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (3219 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The continuous increase in capacity of non-volatile data storage systems will lead to bit densities of one bit per atom in 2020. Beyond this point, capacity can be increased by moving into the third dimension. We propose to use self-assembly of nanosized elements,
[...] Read more.
The continuous increase in capacity of non-volatile data storage systems will lead to bit densities of one bit per atom in 2020. Beyond this point, capacity can be increased by moving into the third dimension. We propose to use self-assembly of nanosized elements, either as a loosely organised associative network or into a cross-point architecture. When using principles requiring electrical connection, we show the need for transistor-based cross-talk isolation. Cross-talk can be avoided by reusing the coincident current magnetic ring core memory architecture invented in 1953. We demonstrate that self-assembly of three-dimensional ring core memories is in principle possible by combining corner lithography and anisotropic etching into single crystal silicon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Self-Assembly)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Modeling Self-Assembly Across Scales: The Unifying Perspective of Smart Minimal Particles
Micromachines 2011, 2(2), 82-115; doi:10.3390/mi2020082
Received: 1 February 2011 / Revised: 22 March 2011 / Accepted: 24 March 2011 / Published: 31 March 2011
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (2589 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A wealth of current research in microengineering aims at fabricating devices of increasing complexity, notably by (self-)assembling elementary components into heterogeneous functional systems. At the same time, a large body of robotic research called swarm robotics is concerned with the design and the
[...] Read more.
A wealth of current research in microengineering aims at fabricating devices of increasing complexity, notably by (self-)assembling elementary components into heterogeneous functional systems. At the same time, a large body of robotic research called swarm robotics is concerned with the design and the control of large ensembles of robots of decreasing size and complexity. This paper describes the asymptotic convergence of micro/nano electromechanical systems (M/NEMS) on one side, and swarm robotic systems on the other, toward a unifying class of systems, which we denote Smart Minimal Particles (SMPs). We define SMPs as mobile, purely reactive and physically embodied agents that compensate for their limited on-board capabilities using specifically engineered reactivity to external physical stimuli, including local energy and information scavenging. In trading off internal resources for simplicity and robustness, SMPs are still able to collectively perform non-trivial, spatio-temporally coordinated and highly scalable operations such as aggregation and self-assembly (SA). We outline the opposite converging tendencies, namely M/NEMS smarting and robotic minimalism, by reviewing each field’s literature with specific focus on self-assembling systems. Our main claim is that the SMPs can be used to develop a unifying technological and methodological framework that bridges the gap between passive M/NEMS and active, centimeter-sized robots. By proposing this unifying perspective, we hypothesize a continuum in both complexity and length scale between these two extremes. We illustrate the benefits of possible cross-fertilizations among these originally separate domains, with specific emphasis on the modeling of collective dynamics. Particularly, we argue that while most of the theoretical studies on M/NEMS SA dynamics belong so far to one of only two main frameworks—based on analytical master equations and on numerical agent-based simulations, respectively—alternative models developed in swarm robotics could be amenable to the task, and thereby provide important novel insights. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Self-Assembly)
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Open AccessReview Self-Assembly in Micro- and Nanofluidic Devices: A Review of Recent Efforts
Micromachines 2011, 2(1), 17-48; doi:10.3390/mi2010017
Received: 1 December 2010 / Revised: 18 January 2011 / Accepted: 25 January 2011 / Published: 11 February 2011
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (1906 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Self-assembly in micro- and nanofluidic devices has been the focus of much attention in recent years. This is not only due to their advantages of self-assembling with fine temporal and spatial control in addition to continuous processing that is not easily accessible in
[...] Read more.
Self-assembly in micro- and nanofluidic devices has been the focus of much attention in recent years. This is not only due to their advantages of self-assembling with fine temporal and spatial control in addition to continuous processing that is not easily accessible in conventional batch procedures, but they have evolved to become indispensable tools to localize and assimilate micro- and nanocomponents into numerous applications, such as bioelectronics, drug delivery, photonics, novel microelectronic architectures, building blocks for tissue engineering and metamaterials, and nanomedicine. This review aims to focus on the most recent advancements and characteristic investigations on the self-assembly of micro- and nanoscopic objects in micro- and nanofluidic devices. Emphasis is placed on the salient aspects of this technology in terms of the types of micro- and nanomaterials being assembled, the principles and methodologies, as well as their novel applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Self-Assembly)

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