The process allows scientists to create surfaces with varied chemical functionalities and promises to extend lithography to applications beyond traditional semiconductors. The new technique, which could have a number of practical chemical and biochemical applications, will be described in the 22 December 2006 issue of the journal Advanced Materials by a team led by Paul S. Weiss, distinguished professor of chemistry and physics at Penn State and Mark Horn, associate professor of engineering science and mechanics at Penn State.
The technique uses self-assembled monolayers (SAM) -- chemical films that are one molecule thick -- to build a layer on a surface, followed by the addition of a photolithographic resist that protects the covered parts of the film during subsequent processing. The resist acts as a shield during processing, allowing the cleaning and then self-assembly of different chemical functions on the unprotected parts of the surface. "Other chemical patterning processes on surfaces suffer from cross-reactions and dissolution at their boundaries," says Weiss. "In our process, the resist provides a barrier and prevents interactions between the molecules already on the surface and the chemistry being done elsewhere. The resist is placed on top of the pattern by standard photolithographic techniques. After the resist is placed, molecules are removed from the exposed areas of the surface. Subsequent placement of a different SAM on the exposed surface creates a pattern of different films, with different functionalities.
Because the resist protects everything it covers, the layer under it does not have to be a single functionality. As a result, a series of pattern/protect/remove/repattern cycles can be applied, allowing complex patterns of functional monolayers on the surface of the substrate. "It allows us to work stepwise across a surface, building complex patterns," says Weiss. "We have demonstrated patterns at the micrometer scale and have the potential to go down to nanometer-scale patterns." While the two processes used by the team -- molecular self-assembly and photolithography -- are individually well-developed, the team's innovation is the successful combination of the techniques to build well-defined surfaces.
Chemical functionalities are distributed across the surface in high-quality layers as a result of the self-assembly process and in high-resolution patterns due to the use of the specialized resists. Different chemical functionalities can be used to detect or to separate a variety of species from a mixture. "The product of the process can be used to create a multiplexed, patterned, capture surface," says Weiss. "We could expose the entire surface to one mixture and capture different parts of the mixture in each region."
The work was a collaborative effort between the Weiss group, specializing in surface chemistry, and the Horn group, specializing in nanolithography. In addition to Weiss and Horn, the Penn State research team included graduate students Mary E. Anderson (now graduated), Charan Srinivasan, and J. Nathan Hohman, as well as undergraduate researcher Erin Carter. The work was performed as a part of both the National Science Foundation supported Center for Nanoscale Science and Penn State's node of the National Nanofabrication Infrastructure Network.
Barbara K. Kennedy | EurekAlert!
Researchers invent process to make sustainable rubber, plastics
25.04.2017 | University of Delaware
Nanoimprinted hyperlens array: Paving the way for practical super-resolution imaging
24.04.2017 | Pohang University of Science & Technology (POSTECH)
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
25.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
25.04.2017 | Materials Sciences
25.04.2017 | Life Sciences