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Color Micro- and Nanopatterning with Counter-Propagating Reaction–Diffusion Fronts


  • B. A. G. gratefully acknowledges financial support from Northwestern University start-up funds and from the Camille and Henry Dreyfus New Faculty Awards Program. C. J. C. was supported in part by the NSF-IGERT program “Dynamics of Complex Systems in Science and Engineering” (DGE-9987577). M. F. was supported by the NATO Post-Graduate Scientific Fellowship Program.


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Thin films of ionically doped gelatin have been color-patterned with submicrometer precision using the wet-stamping technique. Inorganic salts are delivered onto the gelatin surface from an agarose stamp, and diffuse into the gelatine layer, producting deeply colored precipitates. Reaction fronts originating from different features of the stamp cease within < 1 μm of each other, leaving sharp, transparent regions in between.

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