Polystyrene (PS) that has been exposed to ultraviolet light (UV) undergoes partial dehydrogenation of the alkane polymer backbone which increases its surface energy. Exploiting this photochemistry, we exposed polystyrene films to UV light using a photomask to induce a patterned photochemical reaction producing regions in the film with differing surface energy. Upon heating the solid polymer film with the preprogrammed surface energy pattern to a liquid state, the polymer flows from the low surface energy unexposed regions to high surface energy exposed regions. This flow creates three-dimensional topography by the Marangoni Effect, which describes convective mass transfer due to surface energy gradients. The topographical features can be permanently preserved by quenching the film below its glass to liquid transition temperature. Their shape and organization are only limited by the pattern on the photomask. (Figure Presented).
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2012 American Chemical Society.