Home > Press > Writing at the Nanoscale
Brookhaven's "Electro Pen" may impact a host of developing nanotechnologies
Upton, NY | August 28, 2005
At the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, scientists have developed a new chemical "writing" technique that can create lines of "ink" only a few tens of nanometers, or billionths of a meter, in width.
"Our new 'writing' method opens up many new possibilities for creating nanoscale patterns and features on surfaces. This may have a significant impact on developing nanotechnologies that involve nanopatterning, such as molecular electronics -- tiny circuits built using single organic molecules," said Brookhaven Lab physicist Yuguang Cai. Cai will discuss the method at the 230th American Chemical Society national meeting in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, August 28, at 12 p.m. in room 8-9 of the Renaissance Hotel.
Cai and his colleagues call the technique "Electro Pen Nanolithography" (EPN). They sweep a very thin metal tip across a film of organic molecules. The tip carries an electric voltage, which causes the region under it to "oxidize," or undergo a reaction that changes the chemical makeup of the film. In a single sweep of the pen, organic "ink" molecules are transferred from the tip to the oxidized regions, creating an extremely thin line.
Each line is just one molecule thick, but the researchers can produce multilayered patterns by writing over the existing pattern. This gives them the ability to create three-dimensional nanoscale "landscapes." Moreover, by turning off the voltage, they can use the tip as a tiny "scanner" to "read" and create an image of the pattern just written.
With further research, EPN may have the ability to "write" biomolecular materials, such as proteins, onto surfaces. These nanoscale protein deposits might, for example, serve as biosensors.
This research is supported by the Office of Basic Energy Sciences within the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.
About Brookhaven National Laboratory:
One of the ten national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies and national security. Brookhaven Lab also builds and operates major scientific facilities available to university, industry and government researchers. Brookhaven is operated and managed for DOE's Office of Science by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited-liability company founded by Stony Brook University, the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities, and Battelle, a nonprofit, applied science and technology organization.
For more information, please visit www.bnl.gov
Mona S. Rowe
Copyright © Brookhaven National Laboratory
If you have a comment, please Contact
Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.
Air Forceís 30-year plan seeks 'strategic agility' August 1st, 2014
IBM Announces $3 Billion Research Initiative to Tackle Chip Grand Challenges for Cloud and Big Data Systems: Scientists and engineers to push limits of silicon technology to 7 nanometers and below and create post-silicon future July 10th, 2014
Virus structure inspires novel understanding of onion-like carbon nanoparticles April 10th, 2014
Local girl does good March 22nd, 2014
$18-million NSF investment aims to take flat materials to new heights: 2-D alternatives to graphene may enable exciting advances in electronics, photonics, sensors and other applications October 1st, 2014
Breakthrough in ALD-graphene by Picosun technology October 1st, 2014
Grenoble Hosting SEMICON Europa Oct. 7-9, First Time Event Held in France: Letiís 90-square-meter Booth Will Feature Portable Showroom To Demonstrate New Technology Innovations September 24th, 2014
SouthWest NanoTechnologies (SWeNT) Receives NIST Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase 1 Award to Produce Greater than 99% Semiconducting Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes September 19th, 2014
'Stealth' nanoparticles could improve cancer vaccines October 1st, 2014
Stressed Out: Research Sheds New Light on Why Rechargeable Batteries Fail October 1st, 2014
New Absorber Will Lead to Better Biosensor: Biosensors are more sensitive and able to detect smaller changes in the environment October 1st, 2014
Graphene chips are close to significant commercialization October 1st, 2014