Ultrahydrophobic PMMA micro- and nano-textured surfaces fabricated by optical lithography and plasma etching for X-ray diffraction studies

Angelo Accardo*, Francesco Gentile, Federico Mecarini, Francesco De Angelis, Manfred Burghammer, Enzo Di Fabrizio, Christian Riekel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Polymeric (PMMA) ultrahydrophobic surfaces with contact angles up to about 170°have been fabricated and used in the context of synchrotron radiation experiments on biological droplets. The different microfabrication processes included either an optical lithography phase followed by a plasma texturing one or a single step deep reactive ion etch attack. The drying of several biological solution droplets has been monitored. Room temperature evaporation experiments (lysozyme, lactalbumin, cytochrome C, doxorubicin and synthesized peptides) finally result in the formation of easily detachable hollow residuals because of the low interaction between the ultrahydrophobic substrate and the aqueous droplet while pilot experiments (bovine insulin) in a sitting-drop environment bring to the formation of well defined crystals. Recent results about in situ X-ray diffraction experiments by SAXS & WAXS (Small and Wide Angle X-ray Scattering) μ-beam techniques confirm that the presence of such surfaces influences the formation of crystal or fibril structures. These substrates represent indeed a suitable support to study biological and inorganic droplets in a near contact-free environment exploiting the homogeneous evaporation rate induced by the ultrahydrophobicity of the system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1660-1663
Number of pages4
JournalMicroelectronic Engineering
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Crystallization
  • Droplet evaporation
  • PMMA
  • Peptide
  • Protein
  • Residual
  • Superhydrophobicity
  • X-ray diffraction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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