Dynamic templating: a large area processing route for the assembly of periodic arrays of sub-micrometer and nanoscale structures

P Farzinpour and A Sundar and KD Gilroy and ZE Eskin and RA Hughes and S Neretina, NANOSCALE, 5, 1929-1938 (2013).

DOI: 10.1039/c3nr33992k

A substrate-based templated assembly route has been devised which offers large-area, high-throughput capabilities for the fabrication of periodic arrays of sub-micrometer and nanometer-scale structures. The approach overcomes a significant technological barrier to the widespread use of substrate-based templated assembly by eliminating the need for periodic templates having nanoscale features. Instead, it relies upon the use of a dynamic template with dimensions that evolve in time from easily fabricated micrometer dimensions to those on the nanoscale as the assembly process proceeds. The dynamic template consists of a pedestal of a sacrificial material, typically antimony, upon which an ultrathin layer of a second material is deposited. When heated, antimony sublimation results in a continuous reduction in template size where the motion of the sublimation fronts direct the diffusion of atoms of the second material to a predetermined location. The route has broad applicability, having already produced periodic arrays of gold, silver, copper, platinum, nickel, cobalt, germanium and Au-Ag alloys on substrates as diverse as silicon, sapphire, silicon-carbide, graphene and glass. Requiring only modest levels of instrumentation, the process provides an enabling route for any reasonably equipped researcher to fabricate periodic arrays that would otherwise require advanced fabrication facilities.

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