A method for positioning colloidal particles on surfaces in any designed pattern is described. Optical tweezers are used to bring particles from a reservoir to the substrate where opposite surface charges are used to immobilize particles on the surface. Both chemical surface modification and polyelectrolyte coating of either substrate or colloids make the method generally applicable. We show that using this technique large, two-dimensional patterns can be created that can be dried without distortions by critical point drying. As an example we show the positioning of 79 nm radius metallodielectric particles and we show how two-dimensional patterns can be used to direct three-dimensional epitaxial crystal growth. The method is inexpensive, relatively fast, and can be fully automated.

Appl. Phys. Lett.

Hoogenboom, J.P, Vossen, D.L.J, Faivre-Moskalenko, C, Dogterom, M, & van Blaaderen, A. (2002). Patterning surfaces with colloidal particles using optical tweezers. Appl. Phys. Lett., 80, 4828–4830. doi:10.1063/1.1488690