Design and self-assembly of open, regular, 3D mesostructures
Self-assembly provides the basis for a procedure used to organize millimeterscale objects into regular, three-dimensional arrays ('crystals') with open structures. The individual components are designed and fabricated of polyurethane by molding; selected faces are coated with a thin film of liquid, metallic alloy. Under mild agitation in warm, aqueous potassium bromide solution, capillary forces between the films of alloy cause self- assembly. The structures of the resulting, self-assembled arrays are determined by structural features of the component parts: the three- dimensional shape of the components, the pattern of alloy on their surfaces, and the shape of the alloy-coated surfaces. Self-assembly of appropriately designed chiral pieces generates helices.
Breen, Tricia L.; Tien, Joe; Oliver, Scott R.J.; Hadzic, Tanja; and Whitesides, George M.. (1999). Design and self-assembly of open, regular, 3D mesostructures. Science, 284 (5416), 948-951.