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Nat Commun. 2012 Jun 12;3:890. doi: 10.1038/ncomms1891.

Direct printing of nanostructures by electrostatic autofocussing of ink nanodroplets.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Thermodynamics in Emerging Technologies, Institute of Energy Technology, Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering, ETH Zürich, CH-8092 Zürich, Switzerland.

Abstract

Nanotechnology, with its broad impact on societally relevant applications, relies heavily on the availability of accessible nanofabrication methods. Even though a host of such techniques exists, the flexible, inexpensive, on-demand and scalable fabrication of functional nanostructures remains largely elusive. Here we present a method involving nanoscale electrohydrodynamic ink-jet printing that may significantly contribute in this direction. A combination of nanoscopic placement precision, soft-landing fluid dynamics, rapid solvent vapourization, and subsequent self-assembly of the ink colloidal content leads to the formation of scaffolds with base diameters equal to that of a single ejected nanodroplet. The virtually material-independent growth of nanostructures into the third dimension is then governed by an autofocussing phenomenon caused by local electrostatic field enhancement, resulting in large aspect ratio. We demonstrate the capabilities of our electrohydrodynamic printing technique with several examples, including the fabrication of plasmonic nanoantennas with features sizes down to 50 nm.

PMID:
22692533
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms1891
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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