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Keywords:

  • electrohydrodynamic patterning;
  • lithography;
  • Marangoni effect;
  • patterning;
  • photochemistry;
  • programmable;
  • resists;
  • surface energy;
  • thin films

Abstract

Convection can be harnessed in elegant ways to pattern surfaces, often using uncomplicated equipment and materials, providing an interesting platform for future technological developments in thin film topographic assemblies. This manuscript contains a brief review of thin polymer film patterning methods that rely on directing convection, such as “coffee ring” patterning, lithographically induced self-assembly, and electrohydrodynamic patterning. These techniques are described in the context of a recent approach explored in our group for generating topographic patterns by photochemically directing Marangoni flow in thin polymer films with subtle gradients in surface energy. Aspects unique to this process are highlighted so that they may facilitate new developments in manufacturing technologically impactful patterned surfaces. For example, the features produced by photochemically directed Marangoni-driven flow are preprogrammed in the solid state, thermally developed and can be formed in multilayer films. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part B: Polym Phys, 2013