The fabrication of surfaces and films with controlled nanometer features is currently an active area of research. The design of complex nanoarchitectures with novel physical properties has potential applications in many existing and emerging fields such as material science, optics, electronics and biotechnology. The bottom-up approach to nanostructuring relies on self-assembly to create structures and topographies on the nanoscale. This makes it particularly suitable for coating and modifying large-area surfaces and for use in industrial applications. We have developed a number of complementary methods using polymer self-assembly, sol-gel texturation and reactive ion etching techniques on a mix-and-match basis. The resulting nanostructured coatings can have striking properties: super-hydrophobic, anti-fogging and anti-reflective to name but a few. Moreover, polymeric surface nanostructures are also very suitable as nanoscale etch mask for the transfer of the structure into the underlying material through reactive ion etching. This process leads to more durable nanostructures with aspect ratios of 6:1 in hard materials of technical importance such as silicon, silicon nitride or quartz. Potential applications of these techniques include the fabrication of nanoporous membranes as well as the design of nanostructured surface for probing the influence of nanotopographies on cell adhesion, orientation and growth properties.
Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 1, Nanotechnology 2008: Materials, Fabrication, Particles, and Characterization – Technical Proceedings of the 2008 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show, Volume 1
Published: June 1, 2008
Pages: 431 - 434
Industry sector: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing
Topics: Coatings, Surfaces & Membranes