Solution-based fabrication methods have been widely used for depositing uniform functional coatings. These coatings can be utilized in a variety of applications such as optoelectronics, biomedical, and energy. However, such fabrication techniques are not appropriate for directly depositing patterned micro/nano-scale features, which are required in many contact-based applications such as in MEMS.
In this work we propose the direct writing of hydrophobic silica-based sol-gel patterns with sustained functionality and their subsequent tribological characterization. Such an approach may be an advantageous alternative to current lithography-based methods due to the relative ease of processing and low material waste. This investigation involves the abrasive wear and frictional analysis of patterned fluorinated silica sol-gel coatings that are directly printed onto glass substrates with a robotically controlled pneumatic nozzle system. Such work sheds light on the tribological properties of lithography-free processed hydrophobic patterns for applications spanning from micromotors to biomedical fluidic devices.
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Banerjee, D.A., Sierros, K.A. Direct Writing of Hydrophobic Sol-Gel Patterns. MRS Online Proceedings Library 1804, 4 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1557/opl.2015.520