Shaping Nanowires via Laser ShockCategory: Science & Technology
Posted: August 30, 2012 03:16PM
A challenge to be overcome for bringing nanotechnology to market is how to produce it in specific forms. As the devices and components can be extremely small, conventional methods are not adequate, but researchers at Purdue University have developed a technique for shaping nanowires that can be scaled up and modified for roll-to-roll manufacturing.
This new method is called laser shock-induced shaping as it uses lasers to indirectly supply the force to reshape the nanowires. The researchers first place the nanowires on top of a mold, and then put layers of other materials on top of them, with a glass cover over it all. An ultra-fast pulsing laser is then fired at these layers, causing one to burn up. This burning creates the downward pressure that forces the nanowires into the mold.
By changing the size of the laser beam and its scanning speed, the researchers believe this cheap and fast method can be applied to roll-to-roll manufacturing. It works on more than just nanowires though, as the researchers also used it to form gears of graphene.