Molecular self-assembly scales up from nanometers to millimeters

Jun 05, 2014

Can self-assembly based technologies offer advantages beyond conventional top-down lithography approaches?

To ensure the survival of Moore's law and the success of the nanoelectronics industry, alternative patterning techniques that offer advantages beyond conventional top-down patterning are aggressively being explored.

A joint effort of the Aalto University of Helsinki, the Politecnico di Milano, and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has now demonstrated that it is possible to align molecular self-assemblies from nanometers to millimeters without the intervention of external stimuli.

Molecular self-assembly is a concept derived from Nature that leads to the spontaneous organization of molecules into more complex and functional supramolecular structures. The recipe is "encoded" in the chemical structure of the self-assembling . Molecular self-assembly has been exploited for "templating" functional devices, molecular wires, memory elements, etc. However, it has typically required additional processing steps to achieve extended alignment of the structures.

The new finding showed that by engineering recognition elements between polymers and fluorinated , it has been possible to drive their spontaneous from nanometers to millimeters, thanks to the judicious use of noncovalent interactions. After the processing, fluoromolecules can optionally be removed upon thermal treatment.

This concept opens up new avenues in large area nanoconstruction, for example in templating nanowires, which is currently under investigation.

Explore further: Controlling the 'length' of supramolecular polymers through self-organization

More information: "Halogen-bonded mesogens direct polymer self-assemblies over millimetre length scale" N. Houbenov, R. Milani, M. Poutanen, J. Haataja, V. Dichiarante, J. Sainio, J. Ruokolainen, G. Resnati, P. Metrangolo, and O. Ikkala, , Nature Communications 5:4043, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms5043 (2014). http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2014/140604/ncomms5043/full/ncomms5043.html

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New perspectives to the design of molecular cages

May 26, 2014

Researchers from the University of Jyväskylä report a new method of building molecular cages. The method involves the exploitation of intermolecular steric effects to control the outcome of a self-assembly reaction.

Chemists achieve molecular first

Apr 15, 2014

(Phys.org) —Chemists from Trinity College Dublin have achieved a long-pursued molecular first by interlocking three molecules through a single point. Developing interlocked molecules is one of the greatest ...

DNA type polymer for nanoelectronics

Jul 09, 2012

Scientists and engineers often turn to nature for inspiration and clues on how to do things more efficiently and effectively. European researchers successfully induced self-assembly of a novel electrically ...

Recommended for you

For electronics beyond silicon, a new contender emerges

Sep 16, 2014

Silicon has few serious competitors as the material of choice in the electronics industry. Yet transistors, the switchable valves that control the flow of electrons in a circuit, cannot simply keep shrinking ...

Making quantum dots glow brighter

Sep 16, 2014

Researchers from the University of Alabama in Huntsville and the University of Oklahoma have found a new way to control the properties of quantum dots, those tiny chunks of semiconductor material that glow ...

The future face of molecular electronics

Sep 16, 2014

The emerging field of molecular electronics could take our definition of portable to the next level, enabling the construction of tiny circuits from molecular components. In these highly efficient devices, ...

Study sheds new light on why batteries go bad

Sep 14, 2014

A comprehensive look at how tiny particles in a lithium ion battery electrode behave shows that rapid-charging the battery and using it to do high-power, rapidly draining work may not be as damaging as researchers ...

User comments : 0