Nanoelements and Nanotemplates
Nanoelements. Effective nanomanufacturing involves the efficient manipulation of nanoscale objects (i.e., nanoelements) at high rates and over large areas. In order to achieve this goal, CHN designs and builds nanotemplates that are capable of directing the self-assembly of nanoelements and then transferring those patterned assemblies of nanoelements onto receiving substrates. A key component of this strategy is the design and construction of nanoelements with appropriate physical and chemical characteristics such that they can be assembled and transferred efficiently. For example, a range of structural and electronic devices could conceivably be manufactured using individual carbon nanotubes that are assembled and transferred using CHN templates. In most cases, this assumes that the carbon nanotubes exist in monomeric (i.e., debundled) form in solution. For advanced electronic applications, this may also assume that the debundled, monomeric tubes possess uniform dimensions and properties. To date, there are very few options for preparing relatively concentrated solutions of monomeric SWNTs and there are no options for preparing SWNTs with precisely controlled dimensions and properties. Consequently, CHN has active projects to achieve both of these nanoelement goals. CHN also has projects to form and characterize a range of other nanoelements that possess superior electronic and/or mechanical properties, as required by existing and future applications.
Nanotemplates. As feature sizes shrink from the micron scale to the nanoscale, conventional fabrication technologies such as UV, EUV, and electron beam lithography reach their limits. Bottom-up methods that take advantage of molecular self-assembly represent economic alternatives for producing uniform patterns or structures, but they are difficult to control and manipulate over large areas. Nanotemplates, however, can act as platforms or tooling to direct the self-assembly of nanoelements into controlled patterns. To this end, CHN is developing a range of nanotemplates based on conventional nanolithographies, unconventional nanolithographies and self-assembly of functionalized fullerenes. Some of the nanotemplates will be used as manufactured. Others will need to be chemically functionalized before they can be used in a nanomanufacturing process. It is important to note that none of the nanotemplate fabrication methods described is suitable as a process step for high-rate manufacturing. Each method is however suitable for nanotemplate fabrication and the nanotemplates are regarded as enabling, robust tools for high-rate nanomanufacturing processes.Click here to read Nanoelements and Nanotemplates Highlights.