Ordered Topographically Patterned Silicon by Insect-Inspired Capillary Submicron Stamping

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2018 Feb 28;10(8):7451-7458. doi: 10.1021/acsami.7b18163. Epub 2018 Feb 14.


Insect-inspired capillary submicron stamping and subsequent surface-limited metal-assisted chemical etching (MACE) with ammonium bifluoride as a HF source are employed for the high-throughput production of ordered topographically patterned silicon (tpSi). Insect feet often possess hairy contact elements through which adhesive secretion is deployed. Thus, arrays of adhesive secretion drops remain as footprints on contact surfaces. Stamps for insect-inspired capillary submicron stamping having surfaces topographically patterned with contact elements mimic the functional principles of such insect feet. They contain spongy continuous nanopore networks penetrating the entire stamps. Any ink (organic or aqueous) may be supplied from the backside of the nanoporous stamps to the contact elements. We generated ordered arrays of submicron AgNO3 dots extending square millimeters on Si by manual stamping with cycle times of a few seconds under ambient conditions; at higher load, ordered holey AgNO3 films were obtained. Surface-limited MACE correspondingly yielded either macroporous tpSi or Si pillar arrays. Inkjet printing of polymer solutions onto the tpSi yielded patterns of polymer blots conformally covering the tpSi. Such blot patterns could potentially represent a starting point for the development of persistent and scratch-resistant identity labels or quick response codes on silicon surfaces.

Keywords: insect-inspired capillary submicron stamping; surface-limited metal-assisted chemical etching; topographically patterned silicon.

MeSH terms

  • Polymers
  • Printing
  • Silicon / chemistry*
  • Silicon / therapeutic use


  • Polymers
  • Silicon