Rapid prototyping of patterned multifunctional nanostructures

Journal Article

The ability to engineer ordered arrays of objects on multiple length scales has potential for applications such as microelectronics, sensors, wave guides, and photonic lattices with tunable band gaps. Since the invention of surfactant templated mesoporous sieves in 1992, great progress has been made in controlling different mesophases in the form of powders, particles, fibers, and films. To date, although there have been several reports of patterned mesostructures, materials prepared have been limited to metal oxides with no specific functionality. For many of the envisioned applications of hierarchical materials in micro-systems, sensors, waveguides, photonics, and electronics, it is necessary to define both form and function on several length scales. In addition, the patterning strategies utilized so far require hours or even days for completion. Such slow processes are inherently difficult to implement in commercial environments. We present a series of new methods of producing patterns within seconds. Combining sol-gel chemistry, Evaporation-Induced Self-Assembly (EISA), and rapid prototyping techniques like pen lithography, ink-jet printing, and dip-coating on micro-contact printed substrates, we form hierarchically organized silica structures that exhibit order and function on multiple scales: on the molecular scale, functional organic moieties are positioned on pore surfaces, on the mesoscale, mono-sized pores are organized into 1-, 2-, or 3-dimensional networks, providing size-selective accessibility from the gas or liquid phase, and on the macroscale, 2-dimensional arrays and fluidic or photonic systems may be defined. These rapid patterning techniques establish for the first time a link between computer-aided design and rapid processing of self-assembled nanostructures.

Cited Authors

  • Fan, H; López, GP; Brinker, CJ

Published Date

  • 2000

Published In

  • Materials Research Society Symposium - Proceedings

Volume / Issue

  • 625 /

Start / End Page

  • 141 - 150