Fabrication of monolayer machines
This protocol is extracted from research article:
Adaptive locomotion of artificial microswimmers
Sci Adv, Jan 18, 2019; DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aau1532

Detailed fabrication processes of the monolayer structures can be found in our previous work (27). A PreGel nanocomposite solution (NIPAAm/AAm/PEGDA and MNPs) was injected into a chamber constructed by sandwiching the glass mask and a silicon wafer with patterned SU-8 spacers. The SU-8 spacers define the thickness of the chamber, which is 30 μm. For the nonreconfigurable microswimmers, the molar ratio between NIPAAm/AAm/PEGDA was 100:0:5, and the concentration of MNPs was 5 weight % (wt %). Structures with smaller folding radius were obtained by increasing the MNP concentration to 10 wt %. After the PreGel solution filled the entire chamber, a gradient of MNPs was generated through gravitational sedimentation. Subsequently, a static uniform magnetic field with a strength of 10 mT and ultraviolet exposure (365 nm, 3 mW/cm2) were simultaneously applied to the PreGel solution to align the MNPs while polymerizing the PreGel solution (fig. S2A). After curing, the sandwich construction was opened. The structures were released from the glass mask by submerging into water.

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