Self-Aligned Deposition via Spin Coating without Pretreatment

Researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara have developed a spin dewetting technique that achieves the selective deposition of spontaneously-formed polymeric coatings on heterogeneous substrates without substrate pre-treatment or post treatment. This novel approach is enabled by spin coating, and selectivity is induced by polymer design that promotes preferential dewetting from one substrate material and uniform wetting on the other. As evidenced by studies with homogeneous surfaces, polyacrylates containing semi-fluorinated pendant groups spontaneously dewet from SiO2 but form continuous films on Cu. When spin coated onto Cu/ SiO2 line–space patterns, these semi-fluorinated polymers selectively coat Cu without any pre- or post-processing. Rational design rules that anticipate regimes of selective deposition have been developed, which connect the droplet size of dewetting structures on homogenous SiO2 with the dimensions of heterogeneous Cu/ SiO2 patterns. The universality of these rules is demonstrated across a library of polymers with varying molecular weight and monomer structure. This technology leverages the simplicity and rapidity of spin coating to reduce the entire patterning process to one step that is complete in under one minute.



  • Thin film deposition on imperfect, heterogeneous substrates
  • No substrate pre- or post-treatment required
  • Single step patterning process is complete in less than one minute

Potential Applications

  • Integrated circuits
  • Photonic devices
  • Sensors
  • Tailorable adhesion

Contact Information

Name: Robert Takara


Phone: 805-893-5138