UCLA Researchers in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Department of Physics and Astronomy have developed and reduced to practice processes for mass-producing microscale and nanoscale particles with customizable control over particle shapes, compositions, and features. LithoParticle dispersions are ideal for biomarker applications in biological tagging and imaging, for anti-counterfeit security, and as parts for creating complex assemblies in solution.
Bottom-up synthesis can produce a very limited variety of particle shapes, such as spheres and rods, in a viscous liquid. The resulting particles can be highly uniform in size. However, there is no general method for mass-producing a wide variety of highly complex shapes that are specified by a customer using bottom-up self-assembly approaches. Although uniform microspheres have been used extensively in many protocols, these applications can be enhanced by using particles that have customized, user-specified shapes. Mass-producing particle shapes that conform with a desired design would revolutionize the variety of dispersions that are commercially available.
The invention described here uses directed, top-down processes facilitated by automated lithography, for rapid, massively parallel, high throughput production of particles of customizable shapes that exhibit high fidelity and uniformity. As a demonstration of the power of this invention, UCLA researchers have designed and fabricated colloidal alphabet soup: a dispersion of microscale polymer particles representing all twenty-six letters of the English alphabet in a viscous liquid. Submicron and nanoscale particles can be created by the same processes as well. Moreover, the internal composition, color, fluorescence, and 3-D structures of the particles can all be customized.
|United States Of America||Issued Patent||8,617,798||12/31/2013||2007-008|
research tools imaging watermark security materials nanotechnology