Malfatti, Luca and Tokudome, Yasuaki and Okada, Kenji and Yagi, Shinsuke and Takahashi, Masahide and Innocenzi, Plinio (2012) Coffee stain-driven self-assembly of mesoporous rings. Microporous and mesoporous materials, Vol. 163 , p. 356-362. eISSN 1873-3093. Article.
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Coffee stain-driven self-assembly is a general non equilibrium phenomenon which leaves ring-like structures upon evaporation of a colloidal droplet; we have used mesoporous monodispersed beads to form rings with a particular close packed monolayer structure. The mesoporous beads have been characterized by transmission electron microscopy which has revealed a porous radial structure with pores of around 3 nm in diameter. During evaporation the mesoporous beads are driven to organize in circular rings which show a 2D long-range ordered structure in the outer part. Arrays of mesoporous rings have been easily produced by casting small colloidal droplets on silicon and soda-lime glass substrates, after solvent evaporation, the rings are stable towards washing with variety of solvents. Absorption of fluorescent molecules into the mesoporous rings has been preliminary studied for lithography-free fabrication of micro sensing arrays. The rings have been used as functional “pits” for droplets containing fluorescent analyte. After removal of the droplets, the rings showed a strong fluorescence resulting from the analyte absorption.
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