Printing patterned fine 3D structures by manipulating the three phase contact line

Lei Wu, Zhichao Dong, Minxuan Kuang, Yanan Li, Fengyu Li, Lei Jiang, Yanlin Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

118 Citations (Scopus)


The preparation of fine 3D microstructures is an attractive issue; however, it is limited at large-area fabrication process and fineness morphology manipulation. Here, we propose a strategy to fabricate controllable 3D structures and morphologies from one single droplet via ink-jet printing. Based on the surface energy difference between the hydrophilic patterns and hydrophobic surface, the three phase contact line of a droplet contained nanoparticles is forced to pin on the patterned hydrophilic points and asymmetrically dewets on the hydrophobic surface, which leads to various morphologies. Through the regulation of pinning patterns and solution properties, the 3D morphology can be well manipulated. This strategy to control the 3D morphology of nanoparticle assembly based on hydrophilic patterns would be of great importance for fabricating controllable 3D structures. A facile strategy to directly print controllable 3D structures and morphologies from one single droplet is demonstrated. Through designing hydrophilic pattern on hydrophobic surface, the surface energy difference results in asymmetric retraction of three phase contact line, which leads to various 3D structures. This idea to precisely print the 3D structures will open a new avenue for controllable 3D manufacture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2237-2242
Number of pages6
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • 3D assembly
  • Asymmetric dewetting
  • Hydrophilic-hydrophobic
  • Three phase contact line
  • Wettability difference

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