Programmable microscale stiffness pattern of flat polymeric substrates by temperature-memory technology


Temperature-memory technology was utilized to generate flat substrates with a programmable stiffness pattern from cross-linked poly(ethylene-co-vinyl acetate) substrates with cylindrical microstructures. Programmed substrates were obtained by vertical compression at temperatures in the range from 60 to 100 °C and subsequent cooling, whereby a flat substrate was achieved by compression at 72 °C, as documented by scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy (AFM). AFM nanoindentation experiments revealed that all programmed substrates exhibited the targeted stiffness pattern. The presented technology for generating polymeric substrates with programmable stiffness pattern should be attractive for applications such as touchpads, optical storage, or cell instructive substrates.
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