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Controlled mud-crack patterning and self-organized cracking of polydimethylsiloxane elastomer surfaces.

Seghir R, Arscott S - Sci Rep (2015)

Bottom Line: The density of the mud-crack patterns depends on the plasma dose and on the metal thickness.The mud-crack patterning can be controlled depending on the thickness and shape of the metallization - ultimately leading to regularly spaced cracks and/or metal mesa structures.Such patterning of the cracks indicates a level of self-organization in the structuring and layout of the features - arrived at simply by imposing metallization boundaries in proximity to each other, separated by a distance of the order of the critical dimension of the pattern size apparent in the large surface mud-crack patterns.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institut d'Electronique, de Microélectronique et de Nanotechnologie (IEMN), CNRS UMR8520, The University of Lille, Cité Scientifique, Avenue Poincaré, 59652 Villeneuve d'Ascq, France.

ABSTRACT
Exploiting pattern formation - such as that observed in nature - in the context of micro/nanotechnology could have great benefits if coupled with the traditional top-down lithographic approach. Here, we demonstrate an original and simple method to produce unique, localized and controllable self-organised patterns on elastomeric films. A thin, brittle silica-like crust is formed on the surface of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) using oxygen plasma. This crust is subsequently cracked via the deposition of a thin metal film - having residual tensile stress. The density of the mud-crack patterns depends on the plasma dose and on the metal thickness. The mud-crack patterning can be controlled depending on the thickness and shape of the metallization - ultimately leading to regularly spaced cracks and/or metal mesa structures. Such patterning of the cracks indicates a level of self-organization in the structuring and layout of the features - arrived at simply by imposing metallization boundaries in proximity to each other, separated by a distance of the order of the critical dimension of the pattern size apparent in the large surface mud-crack patterns.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Optical microscope images of oxygen plasma treated PDMS samples following a chromium/gold (10 nm/100 nm) layer has been evaporated onto the surface.(a) no plasma treatment (scale bar = 500 μm), (b) Dose D = 360 J, the crack density N = 2.5 ± 0.3 × 108 m−2. (c) D = 1 kJ, N = 1.4 ± 0.2 × 108 m−2. (d) D = 1.5 kJ, N = 1.2 ± 0.2 × 108 m−2 (scales bars = 2000 μm) and (e) a 3D optical profile image of the mud-crack patterning following removal of the chromium/gold thin film. The insets to a-d show zoomed images of the cracks (Scale bars = 100 μm). The chromium/gold was evaporated over the whole 1 cm2 surface of the PDMS.
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f2: Optical microscope images of oxygen plasma treated PDMS samples following a chromium/gold (10 nm/100 nm) layer has been evaporated onto the surface.(a) no plasma treatment (scale bar = 500 μm), (b) Dose D = 360 J, the crack density N = 2.5 ± 0.3 × 108 m−2. (c) D = 1 kJ, N = 1.4 ± 0.2 × 108 m−2. (d) D = 1.5 kJ, N = 1.2 ± 0.2 × 108 m−2 (scales bars = 2000 μm) and (e) a 3D optical profile image of the mud-crack patterning following removal of the chromium/gold thin film. The insets to a-d show zoomed images of the cracks (Scale bars = 100 μm). The chromium/gold was evaporated over the whole 1 cm2 surface of the PDMS.

Mentions: Let us first investigating the influence of a low PDMS plasma dose exposure (D < 1.5 kJ) and a constant chromium/gold (10 nm/100 nm) bi-layer evaporation, on mud-crack patterns. Figure 2 shows the cracking created via a blanket metallization of PDMS surfaces which had previously been exposed to varying oxygen plasma doses between 360 J (Fig. 2b) and 1.5 kJ (Fig. 2d), including 1 kJ (Fig. 2c). In each case in Fig. 2, the evaporated thin metal layer was chromium/gold (10 nm/100 nm). Figure 2a shows a metallized PDMS surface which was not exposed to oxygen plasma. One can observe micro-cracks, as well as a dense network of nano-cracks (not visible here) in the chromium/gold layer which have been reported66. If we now consider the metallized samples where the PDMS had been exposed to oxygen plasma – a distinctive mud-crack patterning was observed for all samples over the oxygen plasma dose range studied – see Fig. 2b–d. Figure 2e shows a 3D optical profile of the cracked PDMS surface following removal of the chromium/gold thin film. The mud-crack patterning is composed of surface cracks having a similar profile to the spontaneously formed cracking of PDMS surfaces at high plasma dose (see Supplementary Fig. 3 in the Supplementary Information) surrounding well-defined, non-cracked polygonal mesa features. Indeed, it is interesting to note that such mesa features, surrounded by a crack network, are free of nano-cracks and perfectly smooth as opposed to metallization of PDMS not exposed to oxygen plasma (see Fig. 2a). The mud-crack patterns observed for the metallized, plasma-exposed PDMS samples strongly resemble those observed in nature236768697071727374.


Controlled mud-crack patterning and self-organized cracking of polydimethylsiloxane elastomer surfaces.

Seghir R, Arscott S - Sci Rep (2015)

Optical microscope images of oxygen plasma treated PDMS samples following a chromium/gold (10 nm/100 nm) layer has been evaporated onto the surface.(a) no plasma treatment (scale bar = 500 μm), (b) Dose D = 360 J, the crack density N = 2.5 ± 0.3 × 108 m−2. (c) D = 1 kJ, N = 1.4 ± 0.2 × 108 m−2. (d) D = 1.5 kJ, N = 1.2 ± 0.2 × 108 m−2 (scales bars = 2000 μm) and (e) a 3D optical profile image of the mud-crack patterning following removal of the chromium/gold thin film. The insets to a-d show zoomed images of the cracks (Scale bars = 100 μm). The chromium/gold was evaporated over the whole 1 cm2 surface of the PDMS.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4594096&req=5

f2: Optical microscope images of oxygen plasma treated PDMS samples following a chromium/gold (10 nm/100 nm) layer has been evaporated onto the surface.(a) no plasma treatment (scale bar = 500 μm), (b) Dose D = 360 J, the crack density N = 2.5 ± 0.3 × 108 m−2. (c) D = 1 kJ, N = 1.4 ± 0.2 × 108 m−2. (d) D = 1.5 kJ, N = 1.2 ± 0.2 × 108 m−2 (scales bars = 2000 μm) and (e) a 3D optical profile image of the mud-crack patterning following removal of the chromium/gold thin film. The insets to a-d show zoomed images of the cracks (Scale bars = 100 μm). The chromium/gold was evaporated over the whole 1 cm2 surface of the PDMS.
Mentions: Let us first investigating the influence of a low PDMS plasma dose exposure (D < 1.5 kJ) and a constant chromium/gold (10 nm/100 nm) bi-layer evaporation, on mud-crack patterns. Figure 2 shows the cracking created via a blanket metallization of PDMS surfaces which had previously been exposed to varying oxygen plasma doses between 360 J (Fig. 2b) and 1.5 kJ (Fig. 2d), including 1 kJ (Fig. 2c). In each case in Fig. 2, the evaporated thin metal layer was chromium/gold (10 nm/100 nm). Figure 2a shows a metallized PDMS surface which was not exposed to oxygen plasma. One can observe micro-cracks, as well as a dense network of nano-cracks (not visible here) in the chromium/gold layer which have been reported66. If we now consider the metallized samples where the PDMS had been exposed to oxygen plasma – a distinctive mud-crack patterning was observed for all samples over the oxygen plasma dose range studied – see Fig. 2b–d. Figure 2e shows a 3D optical profile of the cracked PDMS surface following removal of the chromium/gold thin film. The mud-crack patterning is composed of surface cracks having a similar profile to the spontaneously formed cracking of PDMS surfaces at high plasma dose (see Supplementary Fig. 3 in the Supplementary Information) surrounding well-defined, non-cracked polygonal mesa features. Indeed, it is interesting to note that such mesa features, surrounded by a crack network, are free of nano-cracks and perfectly smooth as opposed to metallization of PDMS not exposed to oxygen plasma (see Fig. 2a). The mud-crack patterns observed for the metallized, plasma-exposed PDMS samples strongly resemble those observed in nature236768697071727374.

Bottom Line: The density of the mud-crack patterns depends on the plasma dose and on the metal thickness.The mud-crack patterning can be controlled depending on the thickness and shape of the metallization - ultimately leading to regularly spaced cracks and/or metal mesa structures.Such patterning of the cracks indicates a level of self-organization in the structuring and layout of the features - arrived at simply by imposing metallization boundaries in proximity to each other, separated by a distance of the order of the critical dimension of the pattern size apparent in the large surface mud-crack patterns.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institut d'Electronique, de Microélectronique et de Nanotechnologie (IEMN), CNRS UMR8520, The University of Lille, Cité Scientifique, Avenue Poincaré, 59652 Villeneuve d'Ascq, France.

ABSTRACT
Exploiting pattern formation - such as that observed in nature - in the context of micro/nanotechnology could have great benefits if coupled with the traditional top-down lithographic approach. Here, we demonstrate an original and simple method to produce unique, localized and controllable self-organised patterns on elastomeric films. A thin, brittle silica-like crust is formed on the surface of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) using oxygen plasma. This crust is subsequently cracked via the deposition of a thin metal film - having residual tensile stress. The density of the mud-crack patterns depends on the plasma dose and on the metal thickness. The mud-crack patterning can be controlled depending on the thickness and shape of the metallization - ultimately leading to regularly spaced cracks and/or metal mesa structures. Such patterning of the cracks indicates a level of self-organization in the structuring and layout of the features - arrived at simply by imposing metallization boundaries in proximity to each other, separated by a distance of the order of the critical dimension of the pattern size apparent in the large surface mud-crack patterns.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus