Evaporative Self-Assembly of Ordered Complex Structures (BOK)
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The use of spontaneous self-assembly, as a lithographic tool and as an external field-free means to construct well-ordered and intriguing patterns, has received much attention due to its ease of producing complex, large-scale structures with small feature sizes. An extremely simple route to highly-ordered, complex structures is the evaporative self-assembly of nonvolatile solutes (e.g., polymers, nanoparticles, carbon nanotubes, and DNA) from a sessile droplet on a solid substrate. To date, a few studies have elegantly demonstrated that self-organized nanoscale, microscale, and hierarchically structured patterns have been readily obtained from sophisticated control of droplet evaporation. These include convective assembly in evaporating menisci, the alignment of nanomaterials by programmed dip coating and controlled anisotrophic wetting/dewetting processes, facile microstructuring of functional polymers by the Breath Figure method, controlled evaporative self-assembly in confined geometries, etc. This book is unique in this regard in providing a wide spectrum of recent experimental and theoretical advances in evaporative self-assembly techniques. The ability to engineer an evaporative self-assembly process that yields a broad range of complex, well-ordered and intriguing structures with small feature sizes composed of polymers of nanocrystals of different size and shapes as well as DNA over large areas offers tremendous potential for applications in electronics, optoelectronics, photonics, sensors, information processing and data storage devices, nanotechnology, high-throughput drug discovery, chemical detection, combinatorical chemistry, and biotechnology.