High-rate Assembly and Transfer of Nanoelements Using Robust Reusable Template

Abstract

Assembly of nanoelements on a template with precise alignment and orientation followed by transfer to a recipient substrate is expected to accelerate large-scale production of nano scale devices such as transistor, biosensor and chemical sensors. Various templates fabricated through bottom up and top down processes and assembly techniques have been used for directed assembly and transfer of nanoelements to achieve desired architectures on flexible substrates and rigid substrates. However, absence of extremely versatile and reusable templates for high throughput directed assembly and transfer have hindered the progress of fabricating devices using nanoelements. Herein, we report on the development a reusable damascene template fabricated by micro/nano fabrication process and chemical mechanical polishing technique for achieving a high throughput manufacturing of flexible devices. These features ensure that damascene template has equipotential on all the nano and microwires during the electrophoresis assembly, which provides high rate assembly with exceptional uniformity. Also, this template can be repeatedly used thousands of times with minimal/no damage and involves no intermediate processes between the assembly and transfer cycles. Using this template along with electrophoresis assembly, we have assembled nanoparticles and single wall carbon nanotubes on micro and nanoscale conductive wires with good uniformity by controlling the assembly parameters such as voltage, concentration of solution and pulling speed. Assembled SWNTs were then transferred onto polycarbonate film as well as polyethylene naphthalate film by printing transfer method. These results show that these damascene templates combined with electrophoresis assembly enable high rate and continuous manufacturing systems for flexible device fabrication.