Self-formation of polymer nanostructures in plasma etching: Mechanisms and applications

Ke Du, Youhua Jiang, Po Shun Huang, Junjun Ding, Tongchuan Gao, Chang Hwan Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


In recent years, plasma-induced self-formation of polymer nanostructures has emerged as a simple, scalable and rapid nanomanufacturing technique to pattern sub-100 nm nanostructures. High-aspect-ratio nanostructures (>20:1) are fabricated on a variety of polymer surfaces such as poly(methylmethacrylate) (PMMA), polystyrene (PS), polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), and fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP). Sub-100 nm nanostructures (i.e. diameter 50 nm) are fabricated in this one-step process without relying on slow and expensive nanolithography techniques. This review starts with discussion of the self-formation mechanisms including surface modulation, random masks, and materials impurities. Emphasis is put on the applications of polymer nanostructures in the fields of hierarchical nanostructures, liquid repellence, adhesion, lab-on-a-chip, surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS), organic light emitting diode (OLED), and energy harvesting. The unique advantages of this nanomanufacturing technique are illustrated, followed by prospects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number014006
JournalJournal of Micromechanics and Microengineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • nanomanufacturing
  • nanostructures
  • plasma


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