We actuate with light & magnets, we fold & unfold DNA, we cell-free express proteins, we play with drops, marbles & interfaces, we organize particles, we harness coffee rings.

Coffee (Nano)Letters!

02Dec 2015. Our paper "Light-directed particle patterning by evaporative optical Marangoni assembly" has just been accepted in Nano Letters!

Controlled particle deposition on surfaces is crucial for both exploiting collective properties of particles and their integration into devices. Most available methods depend on intrinsic properties of either the substrate or the particles to be deposited making them difficult to apply to complex, naturally occurring or industrial formulations. Here we describe a new strategy to pattern particles from an evaporating drop, regardless of inherent particle characteristics and suspension composition. We use light to generate Marangoni surface stresses resulting in flow patterns that accumulate particles at predefined positions. Using projected images, we generate a broad variety of complex patterns, including multiple spots, lines and letters. Strikingly, this method, which we call evaporative optical Marangoni assembly (eOMA), allows us to pattern particles regardless of their size or surface properties, in model suspensions as well as in complex, real-world formulations such as commercial coffee.


Light-directed particle patterning by evaporative optical Marangoni assembly
. N. Varanakkottu,§ M. Anyfantakis,§ M. Morel, S. Rudiuk, D. Baigl*
Nano Lett. 2016, 6, 644–650
 - doi : 10.1021/acs.nanolett.5b04377