Shaping Nanoscale Ribbons into Microhelices of Controllable Radius and Pitch

Lucas Prévost, Dylan M. Barber, Marine Daïeff, Jonathan T. Pham, Alfred J. Crosby, Todd Emrick, Olivia Du Roure, Anke Lindner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We report fabrication of highly flexible micron-sized helices from nanometer-thick ribbons. Building upon the helical coiling of such ultrathin ribbons mediated by surface tension, we demonstrate that the enhanced creep properties of highly confined materials can be leveraged to shape helices into the desired geometry with full control of the final shape. The helical radius, total length, and pitch angle are all freely and independently tunable within a wide range: radius within ∼1-100 μm, length within ∼100-3000 μm, and pitch angle within ∼0-70°. This fabrication method is validated for three different materials: poly(methyl methacrylate), poly(dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate), and transition metal chalcogenide quantum dots, each corresponding to a different solid-phase structure: respectively a polymer glass, a cross-linked hydrogel, and a nanoparticle array. This demonstrates excellent versatility with respect to material selection, enabling further control of the helix mechanical properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10581-10588
Number of pages8
JournalACS Nano
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 26 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Chemical Society.


  • Microfabrication
  • chirality
  • creep
  • flexible helix
  • microfluidics
  • thin ribbon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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