Self-assembling semicrystalline polymer into highly ordered, microscopic concentric rings by evaporation

Myunghwan Byun, Suck Won Hong, Lei Zhu, Zhiqun Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


A drop of semicrystalline polymer, poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO), solution was placed in a restricted geometry consisting of a sphere on a flat substrate (i.e., sphere-on-flat geometry). Upon solvent evaporation from the sphere-on-flat geometry, microscopic concentric rings of PEO with appropriate high molecular weight were produced via controlled, repetitive pinning ("stick") and depinning ("slip") cycles of the contact line. The evaporation-induced concentric rings of PEO exhibited a fibrillar-like surface morphology. Subsequent isothermal crystallization of rings at 40 and 58 °C led to the formation of multilayer of flat-on lamellae (i.e., spiral morphology). In between adjacent spirals, depletion zones were developed during crystallization, as revealed by AFM measurements. The present highly ordered, concentric PEO rings may serve as a platform to study cell adhesion and motility, neuron guidance, cell mechanotransduction, and other biological processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3525-3531
Number of pages7
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2008


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