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Building Two and Three-dimensional Structures of Colloidal Particles on Surfaces using Optical Tweezers and Critical Point Drying

  • Dirk L. J. Vossen (a1), Jacob P. Hoogenboom (a1), Karin Overgaag (a1) and Alfons van Blaaderen (a1)

We describe a method for patterning substrates with colloidal particles in any designed two-dimensional structure. By using optical tweezers particles are brought from a reservoir to a surface that carries a surface charge opposite to that of the particles. Using this technique large, two-dimensional patterns can be created, where the pattern can be manipulated on a single particle level. We show that these structures can be dried using critical point drying thus preventing distortions due to surface tension forces. After drying patterned surfaces can be used for further processing, which includes repeating the procedure of patterning. We show some first results of three-dimensional structures created using this layer-by-layer method. The method is generally applicable and has been demonstrated for a variety of (core-shell) colloidal particles including particles that are interesting for photonic applications like high-refractive index (ZnS)-core – silica shell particles, metallodielectric (gold)-core – silica-shell particles, fluorescently labeled particles and small (several nanometers large) gold particles. Particle sizes used range from a few nanometers to several micrometers.

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