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Process flow for fabrication of polymer fibers by soft lithography.
(a) Aligned fiber pattern fabricated by capillary-assisted molding. (b) Obtained size (i.e., section, ) distribution and its fit by a Gaussian curve (solid line).
Polymer fibers made by soft lithography. (a) Disordered bundle of fibers, very similar to those usually achieved by electrospinning. (b) Knot, evidencing the flexibility of the realized fibers and their rounded shape. (c) Single fiber, with diameter of about . (d) Nano-Gulliver. A -PDMS fragment is anchored to the substrates by polyurethane fibers.
(a) AFM image of fibers lying on silicon (like in step c of Fig. 1), and scheme of the probe tip (Silicon Veeco Ultralevers tips mounted on a Thermomicroscope-CP Research atomic force microscope) indicating the loading point on the top of the fibers. Inset: scheme of the elastic compression of the polymer surface, and of the coordinate system. : radius of the contact paraboloid, : indentation (b) Force-displacement curve on a polyurethane fiber (open circles), and on the bare silicon substrate (dotted curves). The arrows indicate the displacement direction for the different curves. Solid line: linear fit of the approaching curve on the polymeric fibers. The slope of the approach curve on Si instead is defined by the value of the spring constant of the employed tip . Inset: vs vertical coordinate, (open circles), for the approach curve, and fitting line by Eq. (2). The proportionality constant, , has a value of .
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