Improving nanometer-scale manufacturing with infrared spectroscopy

October 10, 2012
Atomic Force Microscope Infrared Spectroscopy is a nanotechnology-based materials identification technique. Credit: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

One of the key achievements of the nanotechnology era is the development of manufacturing technologies that can fabricate nanostructures formed from multiple materials. Such nanometer-scale integration of composite materials has enabled innovations in electronic devices, solar cells, and medical diagnostics.

While there have been significant breakthroughs in nano-manufacturing, there has been much less progress on that can provide information about nanostructures made from multiple integrated materials. Researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Anasys Instruments Inc. now report new diagnostic tools that can support cutting-edge nano-manufacturing.

"We have used based (AFM-IR) to characterize polymer nanostructures and systems of integrated polymer nanostructures," said William King, the College of Engineering Bliss Professor in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. "In this research, we have been able to chemically analyze polymer lines as small as 100 nm. We can also clearly distinguish different nanopatterned polymers using their infrared as obtained by the AFM-IR technique."

In AFM-IR, a rapidly pulsed infrared (IR) laser is directed on upon a thin sample which absorbs the IR light and undergoes rapid thermomechanical expansion. An AFM tip in contact with the polymer nanostructure resonates in response to the expansion, and this resonance is measured by the AFM.

"While nanotechnologists have long been interested in the manufacturing of integrated nanostructures, they have been limited by the lack of tools that can identify material composition at the nanometer scale." said Craig Prater, co-author on the study and of Anasys Instruments Inc. "The AFM-IR technique offers the unique capability to simultaneously map the nanoscale morphology and perform chemical analysis at the nanoscale."

Explore further: Nano-Mechanical Measurement Instrument Based on Atomic Force Microscopy

More information: The research, published this month in ACS Nano, is available online at DOI:10.1021/nn302620f

Related Stories

A New Way Forward for Nanocomposite Nanostructures

February 24, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Scientists at the Naval Research Laboratory and the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign recently reported a new technique for directly writing composites of nanoparticles and polymers.

Researchers measure nanometer scale temperature

December 19, 2011

Illinois researchers have developed a new kind of electro-thermal nanoprobe that can independently control voltage and temperature at a nanometer-scale point contact. It can also measure the temperature-dependent voltage ...

Magnetic actuation enables nanoscale thermal analysis

January 12, 2012

Polymer nano-films and nano-composites are used in a wide variety of applications from food packaging to sports equipment to automotive and aerospace applications. Thermal analysis is routinely used to analyze materials for ...

Recommended for you

Graphene under pressure

August 25, 2016

Small balloons made from one-atom-thick material graphene can withstand enormous pressures, much higher than those at the bottom of the deepest ocean, scientists at the University of Manchester report.

Designing ultrasound tools with Lego-like proteins

August 25, 2016

Ultrasound imaging is used around the world to help visualize developing babies and diagnose disease. Sound waves bounce off the tissues, revealing their different densities and shapes. The next step in ultrasound technology ...

Nanovesicles in predictable shapes

August 25, 2016

Beads, disks, bowls and rods: scientists at Radboud University have demonstrated the first methodological approach to control the shapes of nanovesicles. This opens doors for the use of nanovesicles in biomedical applications, ...

'Artificial atom' created in graphene

August 22, 2016

In a tiny quantum prison, electrons behave quite differently as compared to their counterparts in free space. They can only occupy discrete energy levels, much like the electrons in an atom - for this reason, such electron ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.