atomic force microscopy
We report on the electronic transport through nanoscopic metallic contacts under the influence of external light fields. Various processes can be of relevance here, whose underlying mechanisms can be studied by comparing different kinds of atomic contacts. For this purpose two kinds of contacts, which were established by electrochemical deposition, forming a gate-controlled quantum switch (GCQS), have been studied. We demonstrate that in these kinds of contacts thermal effects resulting from local heating due to the incident light, namely thermovoltage and the temperature dependences of the electrical resistivity and the electrochemical (Helmholtz) double layer are the most prominent effects.
atom transistor; atomic contacts; cyclic voltammogram; electrochemically closed break junction; electronic transport; (Helmholtz) double layer; light-induced signals; temperature-induced changes; thermovoltage
Self-assembled two-dimensional arrays of either 14 nm hcp-Co or 6 nm ε-Co particle components were treated by hydrogen plasma for various exposure times. A change of hysteretic sample behavior depending on the treatment duration is reported, which can be divided in two time scales: oxygen reduction increases the particle magnetization during the first 20 min, which is followed by an alteration of the magnetic response shape. The latter depends on the respective particle species. Based on the Landau–Lifshitz equations for a discrete set of magnetic moments, we propose a model that relates the change of the hysteresis loops to a dipole-driven ordering of the magnetocrystalline easy axes within the particle plane due to the high spatial aspect ratio of the system.
dipolar particle coupling; magnetic nanoparticles; magnetocrystalline anisotropy; monolayers
This review focuses and summarizes recent studies on the functionalization of carbon nanotubes oriented perpendicularly to their substrate, so-called vertically aligned carbon nanotubes (VA-CNTs). The intrinsic properties of individual nanotubes make the VA-CNTs ideal candidates for integration in a wide range of devices, and many potential applications have been envisaged. These applications can benefit from the unidirectional alignment of the nanotubes, the large surface area, the high carbon purity, the outstanding electrical conductivity, and the uniformly long length. However, practical uses of VA-CNTs are limited by their surface characteristics, which must be often modified in order to meet the specificity of each particular application. The proposed approaches are based on the chemical modifications of the surface by functionalization (grafting of functional chemical groups, decoration with metal particles or wrapping of polymers) to bring new properties or to improve the interactions between the VA-CNTs and their environment while maintaining the alignment of CNTs.
aligned; carbon nanotubes; fluorination; functionalization; graphene; nitration; oxidation
The catalytic properties of nanostructured Au and their physical origin were investigated by using the low-temperature CO oxidation as a test reaction. In order to distinguish between structural effects (structure–activity correlations) and bimetallic/bifunctional effects, unsupported nanoporous gold (NPG) samples prepared from different Au alloys (AuAg, AuCu) by selective leaching of a less noble metal (Ag, Cu) were employed, whose structure (surface area, ligament size) as well as their residual amount of the second metal were systematically varied by applying different potentials for dealloying. The structural and chemical properties before and after 1000 min reaction were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The catalytic behavior was evaluated by kinetic measurements in a conventional microreactor and by dynamic measurements in a temporal analysis of products (TAP) reactor. The data reveal a clear influence of the surface contents of residual Ag and Cu species on both O2 activation and catalytic activity, while correlations between activity and structural parameters such as surface area or ligament/crystallite size are less evident. Consequences for the mechanistic understanding and the role of the nanostructure in these NPG catalysts are discussed.
AuAg alloy; AuCu alloy; CO oxidation; dynamic studies; kinetics; nanoporous Au (NPG) catalyst; oxygen storage capacity (OSC); temporal analysis of products (TAP)
We have developed a new procedure for efficient combing of DNA on a silicon substrate, which allows reproducible deposition and alignment of DNA molecules across lithographically defined patterns. The technique involves surface modification of Si/SiO2 substrates with a hydrophobic silane by using gas-phase deposition. Thereafter, DNA molecules are aligned by dragging the droplet on the hydrophobic substrate with a pipette tip. Using this procedure, DNA molecules were stretched to an average value of 122% of their contour length. Furthermore, we demonstrated combing of ca. 900 nm long stretches of genomic DNA across nanofabricated electrodes, which was not possible by using other available combing methods. Similar results were also obtained for DNA–peptide conjugates. We suggest this method as a simple yet reliable technique for depositing and aligning DNA and DNA derivatives across nanofabricated patterns.
AFM; DNA molecular combing; DNA–peptide complexes; molecular electronics; surface modification
The influence of applied normal load and roughness on the tribological behavior between the indenter and sample surface during nanoindentation-based scratching has been experimentally investigated by using different surfaces (fused silica and diamond-like carbon) featuring various degrees of roughness. At a sufficiently low applied normal load, wherein the contact is elastic, the friction coefficient is constant. However, at increased normal loads the contact involves plastic deformation and the friction coefficient increases with increasing normal load. The critical load range for a transition from predominantly elastic to plastic contact, between the indenter and sample surface, increases with increasing size of indenter and decreases with roughness. Distinct differences between the present experimental results and the existing theoretical models/predictions are discussed.
nanoindentation; nanotribology; scratch testing; surface roughness
We investigate the excitation as well as propagation of magnetic modes in plasmonic nanostructures. Such structures are particularly suited for excitation with cylindrical vector beams. We study magneto-inductive coupling between adjacent nanostructures. We utilize high-resolution lithographic techniques for the preparation of complex nanostructures consisting of gold as well as aluminium. These structures are subsequently characterized by linear optical spectroscopy. The well characterized and designed structures are afterwards studied in depth by exciting them with radial and azimuthally polarized light and simultaneously measuring their plasmonic near-field behavior. Additionally, we attempt to model and simulate our results, a project which has, to the best of our knowledge, not been attempted so far.
near-field microscopy; oligomers; plasmons; radial and azimuthal polarization
We demonstrate the coupling of single color centers in diamond to plasmonic and dielectric photonic structures to realize novel nanophotonic devices. Nanometer spatial control in the creation of single color centers in diamond is achieved by implantation of nitrogen atoms through high-aspect-ratio channels in a mica mask. Enhanced broadband single-photon emission is demonstrated by coupling nitrogen–vacancy centers to plasmonic resonators, such as metallic nanoantennas. Improved photon-collection efficiency and directed emission is demonstrated by solid immersion lenses and micropillar cavities. Thereafter, the coupling of diamond nanocrystals to the guided modes of micropillar resonators is discussed along with experimental results. Finally, we present a gas-phase-doping approach to incorporate color centers based on nickel and tungsten, in situ into diamond using microwave-plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition. The fabrication of silicon–vacancy centers in nanodiamonds by microwave-plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition is discussed in addition.
CVD diamond doping; diamond; nanophotonics; NV center; plasmonic resonator; solid immersion lens
Patterning of materials at sub-10 nm dimensions is at the forefront of nanotechnology and employs techniques of various complexity, efficiency, areal scale, and cost. Colloid-based patterning is known to be capable of producing individual sub-10 nm objects. However, ordered, large-area nano-arrays, fully integrated into photonic or electronic devices have remained a challenging task. In this work, we extend the practice of colloidal lithography to producing large-area sub-10 nm point-contact arrays and demonstrate their circuit integration into spin-photo-electronic devices. The reported nanofabrication method should have broad application areas in nanotechnology as it allows ballistic-injection devices, even for metallic materials with relatively short characteristic relaxation lengths.
magnetic point contact arrays; spin laser; sub-10 nm colloidal lithography
We report on the synthesis and magnetic characterization of ultralong (1 cm) arrays of highly ordered coaxial nanowires with nickel cores and graphene stacking shells (also known as metal-filled carbon nanotubes). Carbon-containing nickel nanowires are first grown on a nanograted surface by magnetron sputtering. Then, a post-annealing treatment favors the metal-catalyzed crystallization of carbon into stacked graphene layers rolled around the nickel cores. The observed uniaxial magnetic anisotropy field oriented along the nanowire axis is an indication that the shape anisotropy dominates the dipolar coupling between the wires. We further show that the thermal treatment induces a decrease in the coercivity of the nanowire arrays. This reflects an enhancement of the quality of the nickel nanowires after annealing attributed to a decrease of the roughness of the nickel surface and to a reduction of the defect density. This new type of graphene–ferromagnetic-metal nanowire appears to be an interesting building block for spintronic applications.
carbon; ferromagnetic; graphene; nanofabrication; nanowires; nickel; phase separation
We recently introduced a method that allows the controlled deposition of nanoscale metallic patterns at defined locations using the tip of an atomic force microscope (AFM) as a “mechano-electrochemical pen”, locally activating a passivated substrate surface for site-selective electrochemical deposition. Here, we demonstrate the reversibility of this process and study the long-term stability of the resulting metallic structures. The remarkable stability for more than 1.5 years under ambient air without any observable changes can be attributed to self-passivation. After AFM-activated electrochemical deposition of copper nanostructures on a polycrystalline gold film and subsequent AFM imaging, the copper nanostructures could be dissolved by reversing the electrochemical potential. Subsequent AFM-tip-activated deposition of different copper nanostructures at the same location where the previous structures were deleted, shows that there is no observable memory effect, i.e., no effect of the previous writing process on the subsequent writing process. Thus, the four processes required for reversible information storage, “write”, “read”, “delete” and “re-write”, were successfully demonstrated on the nanometer scale.
atomic force microscopy; electrochemical deposition; electrochemistry; nanoelectronics; nanofabrication; nanolithography; nanotechnology; MEMS and NEMS; reversible processes; scanning probe microscopy and lithography
A rapid and cost-effective lithographic method, polymer blend lithography (PBL), is reported to produce patterned self-assembled monolayers (SAM) on solid substrates featuring two or three different chemical functionalities. For the pattern generation we use the phase separation of two immiscible polymers in a blend solution during a spin-coating process. By controlling the spin-coating parameters and conditions, including the ambient atmosphere (humidity), the molar mass of the polystyrene (PS) and poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), and the mass ratio between the two polymers in the blend solution, the formation of a purely lateral morphology (PS islands standing on the substrate while isolated in the PMMA matrix) can be reproducibly induced. Either of the formed phases (PS or PMMA) can be selectively dissolved afterwards, and the remaining phase can be used as a lift-off mask for the formation of a nanopatterned functional silane monolayer. This “monolayer copy” of the polymer phase morphology has a topographic contrast of about 1.3 nm. A demonstration of tuning of the PS island diameter is given by changing the molar mass of PS. Moreover, polymer blend lithography can provide the possibility of fabricating a surface with three different chemical components: This is demonstrated by inducing breath figures (evaporated condensed entity) at higher humidity during the spin-coating process. Here we demonstrate the formation of a lateral pattern consisting of regions covered with 1H,1H,2H,2H-perfluorodecyltrichlorosilane (FDTS) and (3-aminopropyl)triethoxysilane (APTES), and at the same time featuring regions of bare SiOx. The patterning process could be applied even on meter-sized substrates with various functional SAM molecules, making this process suitable for the rapid preparation of quasi two-dimensional nanopatterned functional substrates, e.g., for the template-controlled growth of ZnO nanostructures .
breath figure; nanopatterned template; polymer blend lithography (PBL); self-assembled monolayer (SAM); self assembly; spin coating; vapor phase
We study the crossover of quantum point contacts from (i) individual-atom contacts to (ii) electronic-shell effects and finally to (iii) geometric-shell effects in electrochemically deposited silver contacts. The method allows the fabrication of mechanically unstrained structures, which is a requirement for determining the individual atomic configuration by means of a detailed lifetime analysis of their conductance. Within the geometric-shell model, the sequence of conductance maxima is explained quantitatively based on the crystal structure data of silver, and the growth mechanism of the nanowires is discussed.
nanowires; quantum point contacts; shell effect; silver
We demonstrate a method that allows the controlled writing of metallic patterns on the nanometer scale using the tip of an atomic force microscope (AFM) as a “mechano–electrochemical pen”. In contrast to previous experiments, no voltage is applied between the AFM tip and the sample surface. Instead, a passivated sample surface is activated locally due to lateral forces between the AFM tip and the sample surface. In this way, the area of tip–sample interaction is narrowly limited by the mechanical contact between tip and sample, and well-defined metallic patterns can be written reproducibly. Nanoscale structures and lines of copper were deposited, and the line widths ranged between 5 nm and 80 nm, depending on the deposition parameters. A procedure for the sequential writing of metallic nanostructures is introduced, based on the understanding of the passivation process. The mechanism of this mechano–electrochemical writing technique is investigated, and the processes of site-selective surface depassivation, deposition, dissolution and repassivation of electrochemically deposited nanoscale metallic islands are studied in detail.
atomic force microscopy; deposition; electrochemistry; nanoelectronics; nanofabrication; nanolithography; nanotechnology; NEMS and MEMS; scanning probe lithography
nano-optics; nanophotonics; nanospectroscopy
The benefits of miniemulsion and emulsion polymerization are combined in a seeded emulsion polymerization process with functional seed particles synthesized by miniemulsion polymerization. A systematic study on the influence of different reaction parameters on the reaction pathway is conducted, including variations of the amount of monomer fed, the ratio of initiator to monomer and the choice of surfactant and composition of the continuous phase. Critical parameters affecting the control of the reaction are determined. If carefully controlled, the seeded emulsion polymerization with functional seed particles yields monodisperse particles with adjustable size and functionalities. Size-adjusted platinum-acetylacetonate containing latex particles with identical seed particles and varied shell thicknesses are used to produce arrays of highly ordered platinum nanoparticles with different interparticle distances but identical particle sizes. For that, a self-assembled monolayer of functional colloids is prepared on a solid substrate and subsequently treated by oxygen plasma processing in order to remove the organic constituents. This step, however, leads to a saturated state of a residual mix of materials. In order to determine parameters influencing this saturation state, the type of surfactant, the amount of precursor loading and the size of the colloids are varied. By short annealing at high temperatures platinum nanoparticles are generated from the saturated state particles. Typically, the present fabrication method delivers a maximum interparticle distance of about 260 nm for well-defined crystalline platinum nanoparticles limited by deformation processes due to softening of the organic material during the plasma applications.
colloid lithography; functional colloids; miniemulsion polymerization; nanoparticles; seeded emulsion polymerization