Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Innovative Fountain Pen Writes On The Nanoscale

Date:
April 27, 2005
Source:
Northwestern University
Summary:
The first practical fountain pen was invented in 1884 by Lewis Waterman who solved the problem of ink leaks by inventing the capillary feed which produced even ink flow. Now fountain pen history is repeating itself in the world of nanoscale writing. Northwestern University researchers have developed an atomic force microscope probe chip with an integrated microfluidic system for capillary feeding of molecular ink and have demonstrated writing at the sub-100 nanometer scale in fountain-pen fashion.

EVANSTON, Ill. --- The first practical fountain pen was invented in 1884 by Lewis Waterman. Although pens with self-contained ink reservoirs had existed for more than a hundred years before his invention, they suffered from ink leaks and other troubles. Waterman solved these problems by inventing the capillary feed which produced even ink flow. Now fountain pen history is repeating itself in the tiny world of nanoscale writing.

Researchers at Northwestern University have demonstrated writing at the sub-100 nanometer molecular scale in fountain-pen fashion. They developed a novel atomic force microscope (AFM) probe chip with an integrated microfluidic system for capillary feeding of molecular ink. Their results are published online by Small, a new journal dedicated to breakthroughs in nanoscience and engineering (http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/smll.200500027).

Dip-pen nanolithography (DPN) has been well-known for its capability of high-resolution direct writing as a bottom-up nanofabrication technique. The DPN technique exploits controlled deposition of molecules from an AFM tip to a surface. However, the need of replenishing ink whenever exhausted has been a limiting feature. Various attempts have been reported to overcome such a drawback, but none of them reached molecular patterns with features smaller than 100 nanometers.

The Nanofountain Probe (NFP) developed by Horacio D. Espinosa, professor of mechanical engineering, and his colleagues employs a volcano-like dispensing tip and capillary fed solutions to enable sub-100 nanometer molecular writing. The NFP was microfabricated on a chip to be mounted on commercially available AFMs. The device consists of an on-chip reservoir, microchannels and a volcano-like dispensing tip. The microchannels are embedded in the AFM cantilevers of the chip and the volcano dispensing tip has an annular aperture to guide ink dispensing. The ink on the reservoir is driven through the microchannel via capillary action to reach the dispensing tip. At present, the smallest feature width achieved with the device is 40 nanometers.

The standard microfabrication techniques used for the NFP chip -- an important feature of this development -- provides scalability to massively parallel arrays of probes and reservoirs for high throughput patterning with multiple molecular inks.

"The writing capability of such NFP arrays with chemical and bimolecular inks in fountain-pen mode is unique," said Espinosa. "We believe the technology will likely lead to many high-impact applications in the field of nanosensors, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals."

In addition to Espinosa, other authors on the Small paper are graduate student Keun-Ho Kim and research assistant professor of mechanical engineering Nicolaie A. Moldovan, both from Northwestern.

###

This research was supported by the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Initiative of the National Science Foundation under NSF Award Number EEC-011802.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Northwestern University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Northwestern University. "Innovative Fountain Pen Writes On The Nanoscale." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 April 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/04/050427133843.htm>.
Northwestern University. (2005, April 27). Innovative Fountain Pen Writes On The Nanoscale. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/04/050427133843.htm
Northwestern University. "Innovative Fountain Pen Writes On The Nanoscale." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/04/050427133843.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Inspired by the way a chameleon changes its colour to disguise itself; scientists in Poland want to replace traditional camouflage paint with thousands of electrochromic plates that will continuously change colour to blend with its surroundings. The first PL-01 concept tank prototype will be tested within a few years, with scientists predicting that a similar technology could even be woven into the fabric of a soldiers' clothing making them virtually invisible to the naked eye. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Strong jet demand has pushed Boeing to raise its profit forecast for the third time, but analysts were disappointed by its small cash flow. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) — As more and more Bluetooth-enabled devices are reaching consumers, developers are busy connecting them together as part of the Internet of Things. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Is Magic Leap, And Why Is It Worth $500M?

What Is Magic Leap, And Why Is It Worth $500M?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) — Magic Leap isn't publicizing much more than a description of its product, but it’s been enough for Google and others to invest more than $500M. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins