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Molecular self-assembly scales up from nanometers to millimeters

Date:
June 5, 2014
Source:
Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT)
Summary:
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. Can self-assembly based technologies offer advantages beyond conventional top-down lithography approaches?
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Schematics and electron microscopy picture of millimeters aligned self-assembled polymeric nanostructure.
Credit: Image courtesy of Technical Research Centre of Finland

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.

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

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 molecules. 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 small molecules, it has been possible to drive their spontaneous self-assembly 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.


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The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. . ,
  2. Nikolay Houbenov, Roberto Milani, Mikko Poutanen, Johannes Haataja, Valentina Dichiarante, Jani Sainio, Janne Ruokolainen, Giuseppe Resnati, Pierangelo Metrangolo, Olli Ikkala. Halogen-bonded mesogens direct polymer self-assemblies up to millimetre length scale. Nature Communications, 2014; 5 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms5043

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Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT). "Molecular self-assembly scales up from nanometers to millimeters." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140605082945.htm>.
Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT). (2014, June 5). Molecular self-assembly scales up from nanometers to millimeters. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140605082945.htm
Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT). "Molecular self-assembly scales up from nanometers to millimeters." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140605082945.htm (accessed June 30, 2015).

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