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.
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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.