A defect or disclination line, prepared at a designed place in a nematic liquid crystal, is used as a template for realizing a microwire directly connected to the electrodes with an accuracy of a few μm. The line attracts and traps silica particles, until self-assembling a complete micronecklace. We then fix the colloids in the necklace by means of pyrrole electropolymerization. The process may be extended to connect many microwires simultaneously. This provides a new route for manufacturing automatic 3D connections, which could be important for electronic applications as Moore’s law now seems to reach some limit in 2D.
The researchers predict that this process can be extended to produce a large number of microwires between substrates simultaneously, which could lead to the development of large-scale three-dimensional integrated circuits. Although the microwires need to be separated from each other by a minimum distance, which presents a physical limitation, the method still has the potential to play a significant role in future electronics applications.