Improving self-assembly quality of colloidal crystal guided by statistical design of experiments
A versatile and reliable approach is created to fabricate wafer-scale colloidal crystal that consists of a monolayer of hexagonally close-packed polystyrene (PS) spheres. Making wafer-scale colloidal crystal is usually challenging, and it lacks a general theoretical guidance for experimental approaches. To obtain the optimal conditions for self-assembly, a systematic statistical design and analysis method is utilized here, which applies the pick-the-winner rule. This new method combines spin-coating and thermal treatment, and introduces a mixture of glycol and ethanol as a dispersion system to assist self-assembly. By controlling the parameters of self-assembly, we improve the quality of colloidal crystal and reduce the effect of noise on the experiment. To our best knowledge, we are first to pave this path to harvest colloidal crystals. Importantly, a theoretical analysis using an energy landscape base on our process is also developed to provide insights into the PS spheres' self-assembly.