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Research Highlights

Research Highlights /

Research Highlights

Professor Kwon Developed Innovative Fluidic Self Assembly Technology

Jun 16, 2008

Professor Kwon Sunghoon and his research team have successfully made a micro-mini computer keyboard with almost 70 100-㎛ components by pouring liquids onto boards.

Kwon said that his team made a super-mini Eiffel Tower, Greek shrine, and computer keyboard (picture above) by cutting grooves into boards and pouring liquids containing self-assembling micro-mini components into them. These micro-mini structures are about a couple hundred micrometers (㎛) in size -- and one micrometer is a millionth of a meter.

The study, released on the Internet on Sunday (U.S. time), will be published as a cover story in the July edition of international science journal Nature Materials.

Robots commonly assemble delicate components for complex structures like memory chips, but even robots have difficulty handling components measured in micrometers. To solve this problem, a self-assembly process was developed recently that uses individual components which contain in themselves enough information to build a template for a structure. Unfortunately this process isn't very efficient.

Kwon combined the robotic and self-assembly methods by cutting grooves into the surface of a board and putting the components into a liquid. The liquid is poured onto the surface and the components move along the grooves to find their places.

"The new technology could be used to assemble silicon memory chips or to turn living cells or tissues into certain patterns in tissue engineering," Professor Kwon said."We are conducting a study to find a way to grow cells into forms we want."

June 16, 2008
Professor Kwon, Sung-hoon