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Sensors and Actuators A: Physical


Capillary self-alignment (CSA) has emerged as a convenient technique to assemble solid objects. In thistechnique a liquid droplet forces a mobile solid plate or chip to align with its counterpart on a solid substrate. It has been widely investigated for applications such as 3D microelectronics and assembly of optical components. It is now thought that it could be a solution for surface mounting and packaging technologies. For 3D microelectronics, where square or rectangular chips are used, it has been found that amongst the four displacement modes, i.e. shift, twist, lift and tilt, only the tilt mode was unstable (not restoring). In particular, tilting of a floating square or rectangular chip may trigger a direct contactbetween the plate and the pad that impedes alignment. In this text, an analysis of the tilt mode is firstpresented. Second, it is demonstrated that tilt can be stabilized by incorporating specific geometrical features such as lyophilic bands patterned on the substrate.