Patterning Complex Line Motifs in Thin Films Using Immersion Controlled Reaction‐Diffusion

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Reference C.T. van Campenhout, H. Schoenmaker, M. van Hecke and W.L. Noorduin, Patterning Complex Line Motifs in Thin Films Using Immersion Controlled Reaction‐Diffusion, Adv. Mater., 2305191: 1-12 (2023)
Groups Mechanical Metamaterials, Self-Organizing Matter

The discovery of self-organization principles that enable scalable routes towards complex functional materials has proven to be a persistent challenge. Here reaction-diffusion driven, immersion controlled patterning (R-DIP) is introduced, a self-organization strategy using immersion controlled reaction-diffusion for targeted line patterning in thin films. By modulating immersion speeds, the movement of a reaction-diffusion front over gel films is controlled, which induces precipitation of highly uniform lines at the reaction front. A balance between the immersion speed and diffusion provides both hands-on tunability of the line spacing (d = 10 − 300 µm) as well as error-correction against defects. This immersion-driven patterning strategy is widely applicable, which is demonstrated by producing line patterns of silver/silver oxide nanoparticles, silver chromate, silver dichromate, and lead carbonate. Through combinatorial stacking of different line patterns, hybrid materials with multi-dimensional patterns such as square-, diamond-, rectangle- and triangle-shaped motifs are fabricated. The functionality potential and scalability is demonstrated by producing both wafer-scale diffraction gratings with user-defined features as well as an opto-mechanical sensor based on Moiré patterning.