Magnetically Responsive Micro-structured Surfaces

Dr. Seok Kim from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has developed a versatile surface material that will serve as a general-purpose platform for fluid and light manipulations for micro and macroscale. Potential applications include: digital microfluidics, biomedical devices, virtual blinds, camouflage surfaces, and micromirror arrays. Compared to similar surfaces, this responsive surface consists of micropillars integrated with large area platelets, which increases the areal fraction of opaque regions on the surface and increases the tuning range of transmittance. It does not require heating to create a vapor layer, and allows the use of soft, ferromagnetic micropillars and offers a more efficient assembly process than prior works. Lastly, it allowed control over the final configuration of the platelets, either in-plane or out-of-plane configurations, for the very first time.