Wafer-Scale Particle Assembly in Connected and Isolated Micromachined Pockets via PDMS Rubbing

Sandrien Verloy*, Bert Vankeerberghen, Ignaas S. M. Jimidar*, Han Gardeniers, Gert Desmet*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
47 Downloads (Pure)


The present contribution reports on a study aiming to find the most suitable rubbing method for filling arrays of separated and interconnected micromachined pockets with individual microspheres on rigid, uncoated silicon substrates without breaking the particles or damaging the substrate. The explored dry rubbing methods generally yielded unsatisfactory results, marked by very large percentages of empty pockets and misplaced particles. On the other hand, the combination of wet rubbing with a patterned rubbing tool provided excellent results (typically <1% of empty pockets and <5% of misplaced particles). The wet method also did not leave any damage marks on the silicon substrate or the particles. When the pockets were aligned in linear grooves, markedly the best results were obtained when the ridge pattern of the rubbing tool was moved under a 45° angle with respect to the direction of the grooves. The method was tested for both silica and polystyrene particles. The proposed assembly method can be used in the production of medical devices, antireflective coatings, and microfluidic devices with applications in chemical analysis and/or catalysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7709-7719
Number of pages11
Issue number25
Early online date26 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2022


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