Spontaneous Additive Nanopatterning from Solution Route Using Selective Wetting

Nanopatterns of functional materials have successfully led innovations in a wide range of fields, but further exploration of their full potential has often been limited because of complex and cost-inefficient patterning processes. We here propose an additive nanopatterning process of functional materials from solution route using selective wetting phenomenon. The proposed process can produce nanopatterns as narrow as 150 nm with high yield over large area at ultrahigh process speed, that is, the speed of solution dragging, of up to ca. 4.6 m·min–1. The process is highly versatile that it can utilize a wide range of solution materials, control vertical structures including pattern thickness and multistacks, and produce nanopatterns on various substrates with emerging form factors such as foldability and disposability. The solution patterning in nanoscale by selective wetting is enabled by corresponding surface energy patterns in high contrast that are achieved by one-step imprinting onto hydrophobic/hydrophilic bilayers. The mechanisms and control parameters for the solution patterning are revealed by fluid-dynamic simulation. With the aforementioned advantages, we demonstrate 25 400 pixel-per-inch light-emitting pixel arrays and a plasmonic color filter of 10 cm × 10 cm area on a plastic substrate as potential applications.