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Micromachines 2018, 9(3), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi9030124

Microstructure Formation of Functional Polymers by Evaporative Self-Assembly under Flexible Geometric Confinement

1,2,* , 1,2
and
3
1
Shanxi Province Key Laboratory of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, North University of China, Taiyuan 030051, Shanxi, China
2
Institute of Precision & Special Manufacturing, School of Mechanical Engineering, North University of China, Taiyuan 030051, Shanxi, China
3
Academy of Science and Technology, North University of China, Taiyuan 030051, Shanxi, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 January 2018 / Revised: 2 March 2018 / Accepted: 8 March 2018 / Published: 12 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Self-Assembly of Polymers)
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Abstract

Polymer microstructures are widely used in optics, flexible electronics, and so forth. We demonstrate a cost-effective bottom-up manner for patterning polymer microstructures by evaporative self-assembly under a flexible geometric confinement at a high temperature. Two-parallel-plates confinement would become curve-to-flat shape geometric confinement as the polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) cover plate deformed during solvent swelling. We found that a flexible cover plate would be favorable for the formation of gradient microstructures, with various periodicities and widths obtained at varied heights of clearance. After thermal annealing, the edge of the PMMA (Poly-methylmethacrylate) microstructures would become smooth, while the RR-P3HT (regioregular-poly(3-hexylthiophene)) might generate nanocrystals. The morphologies of RR-P3HT structures included thick films, straight lines, hierarchical stripes, incomplete stripes, and regular dots. Finally, a simple field-effect transistor (FET) device was demonstrated with the RR-P3HT micropattern as an active layer. View Full-Text
Keywords: polymer; microstructure; nanocrystalline; flexible geometric confinement; evaporative self-assembly; field-effect transistor polymer; microstructure; nanocrystalline; flexible geometric confinement; evaporative self-assembly; field-effect transistor
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Li, X.; Zhu, X.; Wei, H. Microstructure Formation of Functional Polymers by Evaporative Self-Assembly under Flexible Geometric Confinement. Micromachines 2018, 9, 124.

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