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Reflow transfer for conformal three-dimensional microprinting



Gary Zabow


From microcircuits to metamaterials, micropatterning surfaces adds valuable functionality. For non-planar surfaces, however, incompatibility with conventional microlithography requires transferring originally planar micropatterns onto those surfaces but existing approaches accommodate only limited curvatures. A microtransfer approach is developed using reflowable materials that transform between solid and liquid on demand, freely stretching to yield transfers that naturally conform down to nanoscale radii of curvature and arbitrarily complex topographies. Such reflow transfer helps generalize microprinting, extending the reach of precision planar microlithography to highly non-planar substrates and microstructures. With gentle water-based processing, reflow transfer can be applied to a range of materials, with microprinting demonstrated onto metal, plastic, paper, glass, polystyrene, semiconductor, elastomer, hydrogel, and multiple biological surfaces.


nanotechnology, microtechnology, semiconductor, microfabrication, nanonfabrication, transfer printing, reflow, conformal patterning


Zabow, G. (2022), Reflow transfer for conformal three-dimensional microprinting, Science, [online],, (Accessed July 18, 2024)


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Created November 24, 2022, Updated February 7, 2023