Method and Mechanism of Colloidal Assembly for Surface Patterning
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In the field of self-assembly of colloids, there are a number of unanswered questions; can creation of surface patterns be merely achieved by the design of the process? What is the mechanism behind the formation of spontaneous surface patterns? In addition, how to control these patterns? These questions were answered in this work. In particular, we study the self –assembly of nanoparticles into monolayers as a means to build hierarchical structures that will exhibit new functionality. The techniques utilized include convective self-assembly and DOD inkjet printers. For uniform and controlled colloidal monolayers with reduced defects, we present a study on different solvent compositions and use of external modifiers such as vibration and surface coatings during the self-assembly process. These monolayers can be used in colloidal lithography, to prepare high quality metallic nanostructures. Moreover, the live view of particles during self-assembly and modelling of capillary interaction between the colloids, helps to unravel the mechanism behind colloidal phase segregation. This work has produced novel surface patterning using simple scalable methods, which can be used for various applications. One of the promising applications includes use of phase segregated stripe pattern array of mixed colloids as color filters for display devices.