New research shows that soft, conformable sub-wavelength phase masks can be used, with 2-photon effects, to pattern in a parallel fashion and in a single exposure step large, 3D structures in certain classes of photopolymers. The result is a technique that is simple from an experimental standpoint, but which fully exploits the flexibility and patterning capabilities enabled by 2-photon effects, making it useful for applications in photonics, microfluidics and biotechnology.
Tightly focused femtosecond laser pulses have been used to modify transparent dielectric materials, to form voids, and to polymerize resists and resins for more than a decade. A high sub-100-nm spatial resolution has now been reached making it potentially a nano-fabrication tool.
Researchers at the University of New Mexico have demonstrated a new, simple, and facile approach to the fabrication of various nanopatterned films composed of nanoparticles. The findings could lead to nanoparticle sensors for both biological and chemical species.
Contouring measurement methods are important for high quality, high speed and productivity machining in order to achieve the high precision required. Among the most commonly used methods, no measuring techniques have been available with nanometer resolution except for the grating encoder measurement system.
Researchers in Israel demonstrated a new technique for creating polymer microlenses. While current processes employed for manufacturing large microlens arrays are not compatible with the need to place single microlenses in very precise, strategic locations (such as an intersection of two nanochannels, for example) the Israeli group's method is specifically designed to do so. They deposit small drops of monomer solution with a nanopipette, mounted as an AFM probe (nano fountain pen, or NFP), and subsequently polymerize them, to yield microlenses. Their technique could ultimately lead to nano-biochips with integrated polymer optics.
Carbon onions, which are made of concentric graphene spherical shells, are a potential solid lubricant similar to Tungstenite (WS2) nanoparticles having an onion-like structure. In addition, carbon onion nanoparticles are expected to have good prospects for other applications, such as the reinforcement of composite materials, magnetic storage media and wear-resistant materials.
Lithography is a critical enabling technology for manufacturing nanoscale devices and structures. Suppose nanolithography tools cost just a few thousand dollars a piece instead of a few million dollars. These cheap tools would wide open the fields of nanotechnology to practically every university and industry researcher interested in the field.