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Organization of Nanoparticles on Hard Substrates Using Block Copolymer Films as Templates

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We present a technique for the organization of pre-synthesized nanoparticles on hard substrates, using block copolymer films as sacrificial templates. A thin block copolymer film is dip-coated on the substrate of interest and the sample is exposed to a solution containing nanoparticles. Spontaneous preferential adsorption of the nanoparticles on one phase of the block copolymer film results in their lateral organization. An oxygen plasma etch is used to remove the polymer film; the nanoparticles end up organized on the substrate. We demonstrate that this is a general approach for the patterning of inorganic nanoparticles on hard substrates, showing the organization of metal and semiconductor nanoparticles having different chemistries at the particle/solvent and solvent/polymer interfaces. The nanoparticle patterns that we present have typical periodicities in the nanometer scale. In some cases, microcontact printing is used to create a double length scale of organization, on the micrometer and on the nanometer level. The characteristic periodicity of the template is studied with respect to the nanoparticle size in order to optimize the organization. Finally, we describe how to extend this technique for the production of continuous gold nanowires on hard substrates. We expect that the flexibility of this approach and the degree of control that can be obtained over nanoparticle organization should make it a powerful tool for nanoscale fabrication.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2006

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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