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Multiscale Structures Aggregated by Imprinted Nanofibers for Functional Surfaces

Published: September 11th, 2018



1Department of Mechanical Engineering, Changwon National University, 2Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 3Printed Electronics Research Team, Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials
* These authors contributed equally

Presented is an easy method to fabricate nano-micro multiscale structures, for functional surfaces, by aggregating nanofibers fabricated using an anodic aluminum oxide filter.

Multiscale surface structures have attracted increasing interest owing to several potential applications in surface devices. However, an existing challenge in the field is the fabrication of hybrid micro-nano structures using a facile, cost-effective, and high-throughput method. To overcome these challenges, this paper proposes a protocol to fabricate multiscale structures using only an imprint process with an anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) filter and an evaporative self-aggregation process of nanofibers. Unlike previous attempts that have aimed to straighten nanofibers, we demonstrate a unique fabrication method for multiscale aggregated nanofibers with high aspect ratios. Furthermore, the surface morphology and wettability of these structures on various liquids were investigated to facilitate their use in multifunctional surfaces.

Nanoscale textured structures such as nanoparticles, nanotubes, and nanofibers have attracted attention in the scientific community, as they demonstrate unique characteristics in various applications including electrical, biomedical, optical, and surface engineering1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8. In particular, nanofibers are widely used in stretchable and transparent electrodes9, wearable senso....

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1. Fabrication of Nano-Micro Multiscale Structure Surface Using an AAO Filter (Figure 1)

  1. Purchase an AAO filter with a pore size, height, and diameter of 200 nm, 60 µm, and 25 mm, respectively.
  2. 1.2. Clean the surface of the Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) film having a thickness of 100 μm to use acetone with 99.8% and isopropyl alcohol (IPA) with 99.9% for 5 min, and completely dry for 3 min using an air gun.
  3. Place the PET film on a flat surface wit.......

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We demonstrated a fast and simple method for the fabrication of multiscale nano-micro hybrid structures using an AAO filter as an imprinting mold. The entire process took 30 min (Figure 4). It was noted that after undergoing the etching process using NaOH, the resultant surface exhibited an opaque color similar to the original AAO filter, owing to the aggregated nanofiber assembly caused by surface tension. Further, the results of the EDX analysis confirmed t.......

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The key step in fabrication of the self-aggregated nanofiber assembly is to ensure that the brittle AAO filter does not break when applying the resin with the rubber rollers. In fact, it should be ensured that the AAO filter does not break at any point before the etching step. Because the AAO filter is 25 mm in diameter, the size of the substrate is approximately 30 x 30 mm.

The self-aggregated nanofiber assembly allows us to provide various functional surfaces through the proper surface treat.......

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This material is based on work supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (NRF-2017R1A2B4008053) and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE, Korea) under Industrial Technology Innovation Program No. 10052802 and the Korea Institute for the Advancement of Technology (KIAT) through the Encouragement Program for The Industries of Economic Cooperation Region (N0002310).


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Name Company Catalog Number Comments
MINS 511RM Minuta Tech UV curable resin
Octadecyltrichlorosilane (OTS) Aldrich Surface treatment
Sodium oxidanide SAMCHUN Etching solution
Anopore Inoganic Membranes Whatman 25mm/0.2µm
MT-UV-A 47 Meiji Techno UV curing equipment
UVC-30 Jaesung Engineering UVO treatment equipment
Smart Drop Plus FEMTOFAB Contact angle measurement
Fluorinert FC-70 3M liquid mixture of completely fluorinated aliphatic compounds
Polyethylene terephthalate film Sunchem Substrate
Acetone (99.8%) Daejung Cleaning solution
Isopropyl alcohol (99.9%) Daejung Cleaning solution
Rubber roller Hwahong For application of resin
Corning Stirring Hot Plates Corning Hot plate equipment (5" x 7")

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