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Micromachines 2016, 7(3), 41;

Capillary Self-Alignment of Microchips on Soft Substrates

Department of Engineering Sciences, Uppsala University, SE-75121 Uppsala, Sweden
Department of Applied Physics, School of Science, Aalto University, FI-00076 Aalto, Finland
Department of Electrical Engineering and Automation, Aalto University, FI-00076 Aalto, Finland
State Key Laboratory of Digital Manufacturing Equipment and Technology, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Massimo Mastrangeli
Received: 8 January 2016 / Revised: 8 February 2016 / Accepted: 2 March 2016 / Published: 4 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building by Self-Assembly)
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Soft micro devices and stretchable electronics have attracted great interest for their potential applications in sensory skins and wearable bio-integrated devices. One of the most important steps in building printed circuits is the alignment of assembled micro objects. Previously, the capillary self-alignment of microchips driven by surface tension effects has been shown to be able to achieve high-throughput and high-precision in the integration of micro parts on rigid hydrophilic/superhydrophobic patterned surfaces. In this paper, the self-alignment of microchips on a patterned soft and stretchable substrate, which consists of hydrophilic pads surrounded by a superhydrophobic polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) background, is demonstrated for the first time. A simple process has been developed for making superhydrophobic soft surface by replicating nanostructures of black silicon onto a PDMS surface. Different kinds of PDMS have been investigated, and the parameters for fabricating superhydrophobic PDMS have been optimized. A self-alignment strategy has been proposed that can result in reliable self-alignment on a soft PDMS substrate. Our results show that capillary self-alignment has great potential for building soft printed circuits. View Full-Text
Keywords: capillary self-alignment; soft micro devices; stretchable electronics; superhydrophobic PDMS; hydrophilic/superhydrophobic patterned surfaces capillary self-alignment; soft micro devices; stretchable electronics; superhydrophobic PDMS; hydrophilic/superhydrophobic patterned surfaces

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Chang, B.; Zhou, Q.; Wu, Z.; Liu, Z.; Ras, R.H.A.; Hjort, K. Capillary Self-Alignment of Microchips on Soft Substrates. Micromachines 2016, 7, 41.

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