Anodized Alumina Template That Fabricates Thermally Stable Nanostructures

Technology #15524

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Researchers
Kirk Jeremy Ziegler
Justin C. Wong
Yang Zhao
Luping Li
Cheng Xu
Managed By
Richard Croley
Assistant Director 352-392-8929
Patent Protection
PCT Patent Application WO 2017/142607

Improves Efficacy of Fabrication Process for Nanostructures That Can Be Used in Batteries, Photovoltaics, Sensors and More

This Anodized Alumina template (AAO) constructs ordered Particle-In-Cavity (PIC) nanostructures that are thermally stable and high in nanocavity density. These nanostructures may be employed large-scale in fields such as nanoplasmonics, photochemical catalysts, batteries, photovoltaics, and biological sensors. The annual global revenue for photovoltaics alone is projected to grow to over $78 billion by 2017. Current fabrication methods of nanocavity and Particle-In-Cavity (PIC) nanostructures use inconsistent transfer processes and yield nanoparticles prone to Ostwald ripening at high temperatures, resulting in ineffective PIC nanosystems. Additionally, existing processes generally require harsh, toxic chemicals and therefore must be handled by researchers and manufacturers with great caution. Researchers at the University of Florida have created a systematic and cost-effective fabrication method for PIC nanostructures that eliminates the nanopore-related inconsistencies of existing nanostructures in addition to improving the safety, simplicity, and efficacy of the nanostructure fabrication process.

Application

AAO template coupled with nanoparticle insertion produces highly ordered PIC nanostructures for large-area applications

Advantages

  • Simplifies manufacture of nanostructures and PIC nanocavities, reducing manufacturing time and costs
  • Eliminates chance of Ostwald Ripening at high temperatures, refining performance level and duration of PIC nanosystems
  • Fabrication using polystyrene makes AAO template easy to handle, greatly improving handling safety and simplicity for researchers and manufactures
  • Controls nanosphere spacing and diameter, increasing system precision and consistency

Technology

This nanostructure fabrication using anodized alumina templates introduces a simple yet inexpensive and versatile technique for creating large-area nanoparticle assembly, nanocavity and particle-in-cavity nanostructures that have tunable dimensions below 100 nm with perfect hexagonal ordering on various substrates. The resulting nanostructure is extremely thermally stable and maintains the same density even after high temperature processing. Since the nanowires are embedded in the conductive interlayer, the particle-in-cavity nanostructure provides much better electrical contact for nanowire-based devices. The nonlithographic nanopatterning uses anodized alumina as a mask to produce structures with perfect ordering on various substrates. The technology also opens up more opportunities for high temperature applications that are hindered by Ostwald ripening for conventional nano-devices.