Eugenia Kumacheva &
Zhihong Nie talk with ScienceWatch.com and answer
a few questions about this month's Fast Breaking Paper in
the field of Materials Science.
Article Title: Patterning surfaces with functional
Journal: NAT MATER, Volume: 7, Issue: 4, Page: 277-290,
Year: MAR 2008
* Univ Toronto, Dept Chem, 80 St George St, Toronto, ON M5S
* Univ Toronto, Dept Chem, Toronto, ON M5S 3H6,
* Univ Toronto, Dept Chem Engn & Appl Chem, Toronto, ON
M5S 3E5, Canada.
* Univ Toronto, Inst Biomat & Biomed Engn, Toronto, ON
M5S 3G9, Canada.
Why do you think your paper is highly
Patterned polymer surfaces have an extremely broad range of applications.
This paper provides a comprehensive review of the current state-of-the-art
in the area of surface patterning of functional polymers. It also offers a
critical comparison of existing patterning methods with the emphasis on
methods, applications, and the challenges posed by each method. These
features are of great interest to the scientific community.
Does it describe a new discovery, methodology, or
synthesis of knowledge?
This is a review paper which highlights recent advances in both top-down
and bottom-up patterning of polymers using photolithography, printing
techniques, self-assembly of block copolymers, and instability-induced
patterning. This paper outlines the challenges and future directions from
the point of view of both applicability and strategies for the surface
patterning of polymers.
Would you summarize the significance of your paper in
The emphases of this review are the methods of polymer patterning and the
applications of patterned surfaces in electronics, optics, and bio-related
research. The main objective of this review was to provide a reader with
sufficient information and guidelines for the selection of a suitable
patterning method for his/her work.
How did you become involved in this research, and were
there any problems along the way?
We work in the field of polymer materials science in which the role of
functionalized polymer surfaces is critically important. Even though
surface patterning is in its mature stage, many challenges still exist. For
example, the fabrication of complex 3D structures with spatial distribution
of chemical functionalities still remains a big challenge.
Do you foresee any social or political implications for
The importance of our paper originates from the applications of functional
patterned surfaces, which range from data storage to organic light-emitting
devices (OLED) to the controlled growth and differentiation of stem cells.
Prof. Eugenia Kumacheva
Department of Chemistry
University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario, Canada Web ¦
Dr. Zhihong Nie
The George Whitesides Research Group
Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA