Improving nanometer-scale manufacturing with infrared spectroscopy

Oct 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: All directions are not created equal for nanoscale heat sources

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

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Magnetic actuation enables nanoscale thermal analysis

Jan 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 ...

Researchers measure nanometer scale temperature

Dec 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 ...

A New Way Forward for Nanocomposite Nanostructures

Feb 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.

Recommended for you

New absorber will lead to better biosensors

1 hour ago

Biological sensors, or biosensors, are like technological canaries in the coalmine. By converting a biological response into an optical or electrical signal, they can alert us to dangers in our external and internal environments. ...

Ultrafast remote switching of light emission

22 hours ago

Researchers from Eindhoven University of Technology can now for the first time remotely control a miniature light source at timescales of 200 trillionth of a second. They published the results on Sept. 2014 ...

Nanotube cathode beats large, pricey laser

Sep 30, 2014

Scientists are a step closer to building an intense electron beam source without a laser. Using the High-Brightness Electron Source Lab at DOE's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, a team led by scientist ...

User comments : 0