Precise Patterning of Nanocrystal Films AchievedCategory: Science & Technology
Posted: August 27, 2012 10:57AM
Nanotechnology takes many forms, as it can offer special electrical and optical properties, just based on the patterns and materials used. Precisely making these patterns, however, is quite difficult in part because the patterned films involved often have defects. These defects also make measuring the properties of the nanotechnology device difficult to accurately measure. Now researchers at MIT have discovered a way to create these patterns in the film without any defects.
It turns out what the researchers needed was to coat the silicon dioxide substrate with a polymer, which the nanocrystals and films could attach to. Essentially the polymer provided a foundation the nanocrystals would stay on, whereas the silicon dioxide would not always hold them in place, which caused the defects. Luckily testing to make of these structures sped up greatly once they started working with devices that operate in the visible part of the spectrum. Instead of having to look at it with a microscope, they could just see if it was emitting light correctly.
This discovery could impact not only optical systems but electrical as well. While the nanostructures can be tuned to respond to any frequency, the researchers found that the electrical conductivity of their defect free films was actually 180 times greater than the imperfect films made by more conventional means.