Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > ORNL microscopy pencils patterns in polymers at the nanoscale

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers used atomic force microscopy to draw nanoscale patterns in a polymerized ionic liquid.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers used atomic force microscopy to draw nanoscale patterns in a polymerized ionic liquid.

Abstract:
Scientists at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have used advanced microscopy to carve out nanoscale designs on the surface of a new class of ionic polymer materials for the first time. The study provides new evidence that atomic force microscopy, or AFM, could be used to precisely fabricate materials needed for increasingly smaller devices.

ORNL microscopy pencils patterns in polymers at the nanoscale

Oak Ridge, TN | Posted on December 17th, 2014

Polymerized ionic liquids have potential applications in technologies such as lithium batteries, transistors and solar cells because of their high ionic conductivity and unique structure. But many aspects of the recently discovered materials are still not well understood.

When ORNL researchers used an atomic force microscope to begin characterizing the properties of polymerized ionic liquid thin films, the experiment yielded some surprising results.

"We were expecting to measure ionic conductivity, and instead we found that we were forming holes on the surface," said ORNL's Vera Bocharova, corresponding author on the study published in Advanced Functional Materials. "Then we started to think about how this might have great applications in nanofabrication."

Nanolithography is the dominant technique used by industry for nanofabrication, but its size limitations are leading researchers to explore other methods such as AFM.

"This study is part of our search for alternative methods and materials that can be used to create smaller sized objects," Bocharova said. "For example, our technique might be interesting for the miniaturization of semiconductor technology."

Similar AFM techniques have been used to study and produce patterns in nonconductive polymers, but the ORNL study uncovered several differences in the application to polymerized ionic liquids.

"In comparison to nonconductive polymers, we have to apply less bias — four volts instead of 20 volts — to generate the holes, which is good in terms of energy savings for future applications," Bocharova said.

In nonconductive polymers, the high voltage applied through the AFM tip punctures the material's surface by localized heating. In contrast, the ORNL team used experiment and theory to determine that the holes formed in the conductive polymer liquids resulted from negative ions migrating to the positively charged microscope tip. The researchers plan to continue refining the technique's capabilities and their understanding of the polymerized ionic liquids' properties.

"Right now the size of the formed features is in the range of 100 nanometers, but it's not the limit," Bocharova said. "We believe it's possible to change the experimental setup to advance to lower scales."

The paper is published as "Controlled Nanopatterning of a Polymerized Ionic Liquid in a Strong Electric Field." Coauthors are ORNL's Vera Bocharova, Alexander Agapov, Alexander Tselev, Rajeev Kumar, Alexander Kisliuk, Ivan Kravchenko, Bobby Sumpter, Alexei Sokolov, Sergei Kalinin, and Evgheni Strelcov; Liam Collins of the University College Dublin; and Stefan Berdzinski and Veronika Strehmel of the Hochschule Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences. Sokolov holds an ORNL-University of Tennessee Governor's Chair appointment.

This research was supported by ORNL's Laboratory Directed Research and Development program and was conducted in part at ORNL's Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, a DOE Office of Science User Facility. Parts of the research were supported by DOE's Office of Science and the National Science Foundation.

####

About DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy's Office of Science. DOE's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Morgan McCorkle

865-574-7308

Copyright © DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

Download article:

Related News Press

Imaging

Collaboration yields discovery of 12-sided silica cages June 20th, 2018

JPK talks with Dr Frank Lafont, Director of the BioImaging Center Lille (BICeL) about the use of the NanoWizard® AFM together with fluorescence microscopy in the study of living cells June 19th, 2018

Powering the 21st Century with Integrated Photonics: UCSB-Led Team Selected for Demonstration of a Novel Waveguide Platform Which is Transparent Throughout the MWIR and LWIR Spectral Bands June 19th, 2018

New optical sensor can determine if molecules are left or right 'handed' June 13th, 2018

News and information

Collaboration yields discovery of 12-sided silica cages June 20th, 2018

JPK talks with Dr Frank Lafont, Director of the BioImaging Center Lille (BICeL) about the use of the NanoWizard® AFM together with fluorescence microscopy in the study of living cells June 19th, 2018

Carbon nanotube optics poised to provide pathway to optical-based quantum cryptography and quantum computing: Researchers are exploring enhanced potential of carbon nanotubes for unique applications June 18th, 2018

Laboratories

Carbon nanotube optics poised to provide pathway to optical-based quantum cryptography and quantum computing: Researchers are exploring enhanced potential of carbon nanotubes for unique applications June 18th, 2018

Tripling the Energy Storage of Lithium-Ion Batteries: Scientists have synthesized a new cathode material from iron fluoride that surpasses the capacity limits of traditional lithium-ion batteries June 14th, 2018

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Collaboration yields discovery of 12-sided silica cages June 20th, 2018

Powering the 21st Century with Integrated Photonics: UCSB-Led Team Selected for Demonstration of a Novel Waveguide Platform Which is Transparent Throughout the MWIR and LWIR Spectral Bands June 19th, 2018

Carbon nanotube optics poised to provide pathway to optical-based quantum cryptography and quantum computing: Researchers are exploring enhanced potential of carbon nanotubes for unique applications June 18th, 2018

Camouflaged nanoparticles used to deliver killer protein to cancer June 17th, 2018

Discoveries

Collaboration yields discovery of 12-sided silica cages June 20th, 2018

Carbon nanotube optics poised to provide pathway to optical-based quantum cryptography and quantum computing: Researchers are exploring enhanced potential of carbon nanotubes for unique applications June 18th, 2018

Camouflaged nanoparticles used to deliver killer protein to cancer June 17th, 2018

Squeezing light at the nanoscale: Ultra-confined light could detect harmful molecules June 17th, 2018

Materials/Metamaterials

Making quantum puddles: Physicists discover how to create the thinnest liquid films ever June 13th, 2018

Nickel ferrite promotes capacity and cycle stability of lithium-sulfur battery June 13th, 2018

Evidence for a new property of quantum matter revealed: Electrical dipole activity detected in a quantum material unlike any other tested June 11th, 2018

Nano-saturn: Supramolecular complex formation: Anthracene macrocycle and C60 fullerene June 8th, 2018

Announcements

Collaboration yields discovery of 12-sided silica cages June 20th, 2018

JPK talks with Dr Frank Lafont, Director of the BioImaging Center Lille (BICeL) about the use of the NanoWizard® AFM together with fluorescence microscopy in the study of living cells June 19th, 2018

Powering the 21st Century with Integrated Photonics: UCSB-Led Team Selected for Demonstration of a Novel Waveguide Platform Which is Transparent Throughout the MWIR and LWIR Spectral Bands June 19th, 2018

Executives Explore Key Megatrends and Innovations in MEMS, Sensors, Imaging Tech at SEMI-MSIG European Summits: Speakers to share developments in smart automotive, smart cities, smart industrial, biomedical, consumer and IoT, September 19-21, 2018 in Grenoble, France June 19th, 2018

Tools

Collaboration yields discovery of 12-sided silica cages June 20th, 2018

JPK talks with Dr Frank Lafont, Director of the BioImaging Center Lille (BICeL) about the use of the NanoWizard® AFM together with fluorescence microscopy in the study of living cells June 19th, 2018

Executives Explore Key Megatrends and Innovations in MEMS, Sensors, Imaging Tech at SEMI-MSIG European Summits: Speakers to share developments in smart automotive, smart cities, smart industrial, biomedical, consumer and IoT, September 19-21, 2018 in Grenoble, France June 19th, 2018

Nanometrics Updates Time of Webcast at Stifel 2018 Cross Sector Insight Conference June 12th, 2018

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project