Self-Assembly of Mesoscale Objects into Ordered Two-Dimensional Arrays

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Science  11 Apr 1997:
Vol. 276, Issue 5310, pp. 233-235
DOI: 10.1126/science.276.5310.233

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Regular arrays of topologically complex, millimeter-scale objects were prepared by self-assembly, with the shapes of the assembling objects and the wettability of their surfaces determining the structure of the arrays. The system was composed of solid objects floating at the interface between perfluorodecalin and water and interacting by lateral capillary forces; patterning of the wettability of the surfaces of the objects directs these forces. Self-assembly results from minimization of the interfacial free energy of the liquid-liquid interface. Calculations suggest that this strategy for self-assembly can be applied to objects on a micrometer scale.

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