Mono-Dispersed Microspheres Locally Assembled on Porous Substrates Formed through a Microemulsion Approach

Polymers (Basel). 2020 Apr 21;12(4):964. doi: 10.3390/polym12040964.


A cost-effective, simple, and time-saving method to fabricate mono-dispersed periodic microsphere structures on substrates with patterned sites is very meaningful due to their significance on various biological studies. Herein, a simple and facile method to fabricate mono-dispersed microsphere arrays on porous substrates was developed. The mixture of polystyrene and an organic stabilizer solution which contains aqueous solution, fabricated through shaking, was applied to prepare microemulsion solution. An ordered porous structure was produced by spreading and evaporating the solvent of microemulsion on a glass slide, accompanied by the enrichment of didodecylamine in the cavities. The porous cavities were further modified with polyacrylic acid and poly(diallyldimethylammonium chloride) which could immobilize the microspheres. The charged microspheres were incorporated into the cavities by an electrostatic interaction with the oppositely charged polyelectrolytes. The positive polyelectrolytes with abundant charges as well as a suitable content and dimension of microspheres, ensured the formation of mono-dispersed and ordered arrays. Considering that other charged particles were universally suitable for the present strategy, the reported approach opened an efficient way for the preparation of microsphere-based materials.

Keywords: microemulsion; mono-dispersed microsphere array; porous structures.