Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Nanomaterials: Pillars of the assembly

13.10.2011
Advanced electronics beckon thanks to self-assembling templates that allow the creation of nanoscale features on silicon wafers

The ever-increasing demand for enhanced performance in electronic devices such as solar cells, sensors and batteries is matched by a need to find ways to make smaller electrical components.


Fine arrays of nanopillars can be patterned onto a silicon surface using a self-assembling polymer template. Copyright : A*STAR Research

Several techniques have been proposed for creating tiny, nanoscale structures on silicon, but these types of ‘nanopatterning’ tend to involve low-throughput, high-cost approaches not suited to large-scale production. Sivashankar Krishnamoorthy and co-workers at the A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering have now found a simple and robust method for nanopatterning the entire surface of a silicon wafer1.

Krishnamoorthy’s technique exploits the self-assembling properties of polymeric nanoparticles, known as reverse micelles. These unconventional particles have a structure consisting of a polar core and an outer layer of non-polar ‘arms’. Reverse micelles can form highly ordered arrays on the surface of a silicon wafer. The resulting ‘coating’ can be used as a lithographic resist to mask the silicon surface during the etching process.

Although other groups have developed similar approaches in previous studies, Krishnamoorthy and co-workers are the first to develop a process that can pattern the entire surface of a silicon wafer with highly uniform nanostructures (see image). The authors have further developed a method to quantify nanostructure variations across large areas using simple optical tools, paving the way for high-throughput nanometrology.

In an additional improvement to the process, the researchers exposed the self-assembled polymer layer to a titanium chloride vapour. The titanium chloride selectively accumulates within each micelle’s polar core. A blast of oxygen plasma then strips away the polymer to leave a pattern of tiny titanium oxide dots. This process converts a soft organic template into a hard inorganic mask much more suited to etching ultra-fine features into the silicon, producing arrays of nanopillars less than 10 nanometers apart.

The findings are expected to be highly adaptable. “Although we have demonstrated the process for creating silicon nanopillars, it is very versatile and can be readily extended to achieve nanopatterns of most other materials, for example, metals, semiconductors and polymers through appropriate post-processing of the initial copolymer templates,” explains Krishnamoorthy. "Other patterns besides nanopillars could also be created, depending on the pattern-transfer processing employed."

Krishnamoorthy and his team are already exploring the potential applications of their technique. “We are currently making use of this process to create nanodevices for sensing, data storage, and energy applications, such as batteries and solar cells,” Krishnamoorthy says.

Krishnamoorthy, S., Manipaddy, K. K., and Yap, F. L. Wafer-level self-organized copolymer templates for nanolithography with sub-50 nm feature and spatial resolutions. Advanced Functional Materials 21, 1102–1112 (2011).

Lee Swee Heng | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://www.research.a-star.edu.sg/
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Decoding cement's shape promises greener concrete
08.12.2016 | Rice University

nachricht Scientists track chemical and structural evolution of catalytic nanoparticles in 3-D
08.12.2016 | DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>