• colloidal assembly;
  • mechanical processes;
  • pattern transfer


The reversible nature of buckling is employed to repeatedly transfer colloids assembled in buckling patterns to flat surfaces. The cycle of colloidal loading–transfer–buckling is repeatedly carried out to fabricate the same colloidal patterns. The key to success is the reduction in the amplitude of the buckling patterns to a few nanometers as well as the recovery of initial buckling patterns after repeated stretching. The reduced buckling amplitude by poststretching or thermal annealing embosses the colloids assembled in the trenches of the buckling patterns, which enables the transfer regardless of the size, species, or layer thickness of the particles. This report demonstrates various transferred patterns composed of colloidal crystals, fluorescence hydrogel colloids, Au nanoparticles, and iron oxide magnetic particles. Since the process does not require surface modification of the colloids, it can be used to fabricate any colloidal patterns.