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Technological and Material Related Challenges for Large Area, High Aspect-Ratio, Near Teradot/Inch2 Areal Density and Three-Dimensional Structuring of Polyaniline

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In this manuscript we report on a newly developed technology for the nanoscale processing of the conducting polyaniline (PANI) with an unprecedented areal patterning order and density control exceeding 0.25 teradot/inch2. High resolution electron beam lithography was used to generate ordered 2D and 3D templates. A novel type of resist and dose-modulated 3D-electron beam lithography (RDM-3D-EBL), extensively exploiting the intrinsic properties of resist-electron beam interaction is detailed. Surface initiated and template confined aniline polymerization, through catalytic activity of metallic platinum, was then exploited to provide a genuine method for controlled nanoscale processing of polyaniline, a prototypical conjugated polymer that definitively settled the concept of synthetic metals. Using nanoscale polymerization reactors, ultimate resolution patterning and processing control of single polyaniline nanostructures was feasible. Aspects of the nanoscale polyaniline growth mechanism are discussed and the highly controllable, sub-picogram scale fabrication is emphasized. Near teradot/inch2 pattern transfer technology, complex 3D structuring and physico-chemical functionalization of polyaniline can be subsequently harnessed to build a large variety of architectures with potential for emerging optoelectronic technologies. The method is scalable, can be applied on virtually any type of flexible or rigid substrates and provides a generic approach for nanopatterning surfaces with functional polymers. Technological and material related fabrication challenges are detailed and discussed.
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Keywords: 3D E-BEAM LITHOGRAPHY; KEY-LOCK SELF-ASSEMBLY; NEAR TERADOT/SQINCH; POLYANILINE; SURFACE CONFINED POLYMERIZATION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-10-01

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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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