Dynamically Programmable Fluidic Assembly
A major challenge in fluidic assembly is the dynamically programmable fabrication of arbitrary geometries from basic components. Current approaches require predetermination of either the assembly machinery or the component interfaces for the specific target geometries. This research persues an alternative concept that exploits self-assembly forces locally but directs these forces globally, allowing fabrication and manipulation of target structures without tailoring the substrate or interfaces. By controlling the flow in a microfluidic chamber, components are directed to their target locations where local interactions align and bond them. Following this approach, we have so far demonstrated the experimental assembly of structures composed of two to ten components.
Microtile manipulation and assembly. Frames taken from video micrographs of (a) an automated microtile manipulation and (b-d) three assembly experiments. Timed valve actuation directs pressurized flow into the microfluidic chamber and out the indicated openings. Fluid flow applies hydrodynamic forces to the 500 by 500 by 30 micron silicon tiles, causing them to move and assemble. Alignment patterns and compliant latches cause adjacent tiles to self-align and bond together. The valving sequences determine the final structures.
Krishnan M, Tolley M. T., Lipson H., Erickson D., (2009) "Hydrodynamically Tunable Affinities for Fluidic Assembly", Langmuir, Vol. 25, pp. 3769-3774.
Tolley M. T., Krishnan M., Erickson D., Lipson H. (2008) "Dynamically Programmable Fluidic Assembly", Applied Physics Letters, 93, 254105. *Also included in Virtual Journal of Nanoscale Science & Technology, 19*
Krishnan M., Tolley M. T., Lipson H., Erickson D. (2008) "Increased Robustness for Fluidic Self Assembly", Physics of Fluids, 20, 073304.
Krishnan M., Tolley M. T., Lipson H., Erickson D. (2008) "Dynamically Tunable Affinities for Fluidic Self Assembly", Am. Inst. of Chem. Engineers (AICHE) Annual Meeting, Philadelphia PA, Nov. 2008, 485e.
Tolley M. T., Krishnan M., Lipson H., Erickson D. (2008) "Advances Towards Programmable Matter", Proc. Int. Conf. Miniaturized Systems for Chemistry and Life Sciences (MicroTAS), San Diego CA, Oct. 2008, pp. 653-655.
Tolley M. T., Baisch A., Krishnan M., Erickson D., Lipson H., (2008) “Interfacing Methods for Fluidically-Assembled Microcomponents”, Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS), Tucson AZ, Jan 2008, pp. 1073-1076.
Tolley M. T., Zykov V., Lipson H., Erickson D., (2006) “Directed Fluidic Self-Assembly of Microscale Tiles”, Proc. Int. Conf. Miniaturized Systems for Chemistry and Life Sciences (MicroTAS), Tokyo Japan, Oct. 2006, pp. 1552-1554.