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Keywords:

  • lithography;
  • microcontainers;
  • self-assembly;
  • thin-film stress
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Tiny boxes: A highly parallel, low-temperature process allows the self-assembly of hollow, cubic microcontainers with patterned faces that can encapsulate objects within. The process is based on the self-folding of lithographically patterned cruciforms and exploits stress inherent in thermally evaporated thin films to drive the assembly of the microstructures, which are on the order of 50–500 µm. The assembly occurs in water at 40–60 °C.