Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Nano world of Shrinky Dinks: Low-cost nanopatterning method utilizes popular shrinkable plastic

Date:
August 14, 2010
Source:
Northwestern University
Summary:
The magical world of Shrinky Dinks -- an arts and crafts material used by children since the 1970s -- has taken up residence in a Northwestern University laboratory. A team of nanoscientists is using the flexible plastic sheets as the backbone of a new inexpensive way to create, test and mass-produce large-area patterns on the nanoscale. Anyone needing access to these patterns on the cheap could benefit from this method, known as solvent-assisted nanoscale embossing.

The magical world of Shrinky Dinks -- an arts and crafts material used by children since the 1970s -- has taken up residence in a Northwestern University laboratory. A team of nanoscientists is using the flexible plastic sheets as the backbone of a new inexpensive way to create, test and mass-produce large-area patterns on the nanoscale.

"Anyone needing access to large-area nanoscale patterns on the cheap could benefit from this method," said Teri W. Odom, associate professor of chemistry and Dow Chemical Company Research Professor in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. Odom led the research. "It is a simple, low-cost and high-throughput nanopatterning method that can be done in any laboratory."

Details of the solvent-assisted nanoscale embossing (SANE) method are published by the journal Nano Letters. The work also will appear as the cover story of the journal's February 2011 issue.

The method offers unprecedented opportunities to manipulate the electronic, photonic and magnetic properties of nanomaterials. It also easily controls a pattern's size and symmetry and can be used to produce millions of copies of the pattern over a large area. Potential applications include devices that take advantage of nanoscale patterns, such as solar cells, high-density displays, computers and chemical and biological sensors.

"No other existing nanopatterning method can both prototype arbitrary patterns with small separations and reproduce them over six-inch wafers for less than $100," Odom said.

Starting with a single master pattern, the simple yet potentially transformative method can be used to create new nanoscale masters with variable spacings and feature sizes. SANE can increase the spacing of patterns up to 100 percent as well as decrease them down to 50 percent in a single step, merely by stretching or heating (shrinking) the polymer substrate (the Shrinky Dinks material). Also, SANE can reduce critical feature sizes as small as 45 percent compared to the master by controlled swelling of patterned polymer molds with different solvents. SANE works from the nanoscale to the macroscale.

Biologists, chemists and physicists who are not familiar with nanopatterning now can use SANE for research at the nanoscale. Those working on solar energy, data storage and plasmonics will find the method particularly useful, Odom said.

For example, in a plasmonics application, Odom and her research team used the patterning capabilities to generate metal nanoparticle arrays with continuously variable separations on the same substrate.

SANE offers a way to meet three grand challenges in nanofabrication from the same -- and a single -- master pattern: (1) creating programmable array densities, (2) reducing critical feature sizes, and (3) designing different and reconfigurable lattice symmetries over large areas and in a massively parallel manner.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Northwestern University. The original article was written by Megan Fellman. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Min Hyung Lee, Mark D. Huntington, Wei Zhou, Jiun-Chan Yang, Teri W. Odom. Programmable Soft Lithography: Solvent-Assisted Nanoscale Embossing. Nano Letters, 2010; 100805150741092 DOI: 10.1021/nl102206x

Cite This Page:

Northwestern University. "Nano world of Shrinky Dinks: Low-cost nanopatterning method utilizes popular shrinkable plastic." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 August 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100813121918.htm>.
Northwestern University. (2010, August 14). Nano world of Shrinky Dinks: Low-cost nanopatterning method utilizes popular shrinkable plastic. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100813121918.htm
Northwestern University. "Nano world of Shrinky Dinks: Low-cost nanopatterning method utilizes popular shrinkable plastic." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100813121918.htm (accessed April 25, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, April 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Next Stop America for France's TGV?

Next Stop America for France's TGV?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 24, 2014) General Electric keeps quiet on reports it's in talks to buy French turbine and train maker Alstom. Ivor Bennett reports on what could be an embarrassing rumour for the French government, with business-friendly reforms proving a hard sell. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Obama Plays Soccer With Japanese Robot

Raw: Obama Plays Soccer With Japanese Robot

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) President Obama briefly played soccer with a robot during his visit to Japan on Thursday. The President has been emphasizing technology along with security concerns during his visit. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama Encourages Japanese Student-Scientists

Obama Encourages Japanese Student-Scientists

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) President Obama spoke with student innovators in Japan and urged them to take part in increased opportunities for student exchanges with the US. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

AFP (Apr. 23, 2014) The UN mission in Cyprus (UNFICYP) led a mine clearance demonstration on Wednesday in the UN-controlled buffer zone where demining operations are being conducted near the Cypriot village of Mammari. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
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:
from the past week

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