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Publication Detail
Plasma microcontact patterning (PμCP): a technique for the precise control of surface patterning at small-scale.
Plasma microcontact patterning (PμCP) is a simple, efficient, and cost-effective method for the precise patterning of molecules on surfaces. It combines the use of low-pressure plasma with an elastomeric 3D mask to spatially control the removal of molecules, such as proteins, from a surface. The entire PμCP process is subdivided into three main steps: surface precoating, plasma micropatterning, and a surface postcoating step. Surfaces are first precoated with a molecular species and then placed in close contact with the 3D mask. This allows the formation of two distinct regions: an un-masked open-region which is accessible to the plasma, from which the surface layer is removed, and, a contact region which is physically protected from exposure to the plasma. In the final step, a second molecule is added to back-fill the pattern generated through plasma-treatment. The PμCP technique allows the patterning of virtually any organic molecules on different surface materials and geometries (e.g., flat, curved surfaces, and 3D microstructures). Moreover, it is a simple and robust procedure. The main advantages of this approach over traditional microcontact printing are twofold: The stability of molecule binding to plasma-treated surfaces, and the separation of the surface functionalization step from the actual micropatterning step, which enables the precise control of concentration and uniformity of patterned molecules. In conclusion, PμCP is a simple way to generate surface patterns that are highly reproducible, stable and uniform, making it a useful method for many applications.
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