Using Dip Pen Nanolithography to fabricate metal nanoclusters

(Nanowerk News) NanoInk released a new application note today titled, "Fabricating Metallic Nanoclusters." It is now available on the NanoInk Web site at:
NanoInk has harnessed the ability of Dip Pen Nanolithography (DPN) technology to deposit materials with nanoscale precision, to develop a technique for fabricating metallic nanoclusters. NanoInk's nanolithography systems were used to pattern sub-micron sized droplets of a mixture of metal salt in P2VP-PEO onto a SiO2 substrate. The printed surface was then heat treated to decompose the polymer and oxidize the metal ions, creating arrays of metal oxide nanoclusters.
Recent advances in nanoscale materials research have led to the design, fabrication and characterization of new materials, such as nanoclusters, nanoparticles, and nanotubes. Nanomaterials often have unique electronic, chemical and optical properties that are not inherent in their bulk counterparts. These properties make nanomaterials ideal candidates for use in several novel applications, including those in the fields of photonics, medicine and electronics.
Until now, the challenges associated with nanoscale material manipulation have severally limited the ability to incorporate nanomaterials into functional devices. One of the most critical parameters restricting the wider utility of nanomaterials is the difficulty involved with controllably patterning materials at precise locations in a repeatable manner over relatively large areas. The traditional process of randomly placing nanomaterials on a substrate typically leads to highly variable performance of the resultant functionalized devices.
Dip Pen Nanolithography (DPN) is an established method of nanofabrication in which materials are deposited onto a surface using a sharp tip. In addition to generating small feature sizes, NanoInk's powerful DPN systems enable rapid and flexible design of feature geometry. Just as importantly, the fabrication process can be scaled up to pattern several hundred to thousands of features in relatively short periods of time by using a NanoInk custom designed multiple-tip cantilever pen array.
Source: NanoInk (press release)
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