Organic-inorganic hybrids have recently attracted considerable interest. These materials, which are synthesized by the highly versatile sol-gel process, consist of interpenetrating organic and inorganic networks at the nano- to molecular size scale. Incorporating photo-polymerizable groups into the organic network allows the material to be patterned with light like a photo-resist. Thus, micro-scale relief structures can be generated in this glass-like material, but without needing harsh chemical etchants. Here, we report on the fabrication of photo-patterned structures in an organic-inorganic hybrid with sub-micron feature sizes. We present patterns with an unprecedented level of design complexity, in the form of a diffractive optically variable device (OVD). The ability to combine both sub-micron features and a high level of design complexity may be useful in the fabrication of phase masks, X-ray optics and security devices. We also demonstrate how the material can serve as a matrix for nano-scale components, via the incorporation of Ag nanoparticles into the material. This may be relevant to a range of emerging technologies, such as optoelectronics (e.g. nonlinear waveguiding devices) and chemical sensing (e.g. a lab-on-a-chip substrate for chemical detection by surface-enhanced Raman scattering).
Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 2, Technical Proceedings of the 2005 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show, Volume 2
Published: May 8, 2005
Pages: 460 - 462
Industry sectors: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing | Sensors, MEMS, Electronics
Topic: MEMS & NEMS Devices, Modeling & Applications