UWEE Tech Report Series

Controlled Multi-Batch Self-Assembly of Micro Devices


Xiaorong Xiong, Yael Hanein, Jiandong Fang, Yanbing Wang, Weihua Wang, Daniel T. Schwartz and Karl F. Bohringer

micro assembly, self-assembly, hydrophobicity, capillary force, surface tension, interfacial energy, self-assembled monolayer, reductive desorption, electrochemical modulation, electroplating


A technique is described for assembly of multiple batches of micro components onto a single substrate. The substrate is prepared with hydrophobic alkanethiol-coated gold binding sites. To perform assembly, a hydrocarbon oil is applied to the substrate and wets exclusively the hydrophobic binding sites in water. Micro components are then added to the water, and assembled on the oil-wetted binding sites. Moreover, assembly can be controlled to take place on desired binding sites by using an electrochemical method to de-activate specific substrate binding sites. By repeatedly applying this technique, different batches of micro components can be assembled to a single substrate sequentially. As a post assembly procedure, electroplating is incorporated into the technique to establish electrical connections for assembled components. Important issues presented are: substrate fabrication techniques, electrochemical modulation by using suitable alkanethiol (dodecanethiol), electroplating of tin and lead alloy and binding site design simulations. Finally, we demonstrate a two-batch assembly of silicon square parts, and electrical connectivity by electroplating contacts to surface-mount light emitting diodes.

Download the PDF version