16th November 2012
The problem with liquid polymers is that they require a solvent and this can end up dissolving the layer below, if it is another polymer for example.
Solvents also lead to other problems such as the coffee ring effect in which polymers tend to concentrate at the edge of a droplet as it dries.
Today, Maria Kandyla at the National Technical University of Athens in Greece and a couple of pals demonstrate a way round this problem that does not rely on liquid polymers. Instead, they use laser ablation to deposit a solid polymer directly onto a substrate, thereby avoiding solvents altogether.
We have the technology.