Polymer brush hypersurface photolithography

Carlos Carbonell, Daniel Valles, Alexa M. Wong, Andrea S. Carlini, Mollie A. Touve, Joanna Korpanty, Nathan C. Gianneschi, Adam B. Braunschweig*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Polymer brush patterns have a central role in established and emerging research disciplines, from microarrays and smart surfaces to tissue engineering. The properties of these patterned surfaces are dependent on monomer composition, polymer height, and brush distribution across the surface. No current lithographic method, however, is capable of adjusting each of these variables independently and with micrometer-scale resolution. Here we report a technique termed Polymer Brush Hypersurface Photolithography, which produces polymeric pixels by combining a digital micromirror device (DMD), an air-free reaction chamber, and microfluidics to independently control monomer composition and polymer height of each pixel. The printer capabilities are demonstrated by preparing patterns from combinatorial polymer and block copolymer brushes. Images from polymeric pixels are created using the light reflected from a DMD to photochemically initiate atom-transfer radical polymerization from initiators immobilized on Si/SiO2 wafers. Patterning is combined with high-throughput analysis of grafted-from polymerization kinetics, accelerating reaction discovery, and optimization of polymer coatings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1244
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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