Directed Self-Assembly Process for the Nanomanufacturing of Higher Order Structures
Clean Technology 2008

Directed Self-Assembly Process for the Nanomanufacturing of Higher Order Structures

M.J. Heller, D. Dehlinger, S. Esener, A. Hsiao
University of California, San Diego, US

nanomanufacturing, self-assembly, nanoparticles, materials, devices

One of the grand challenges in nanotechnology is the development of novel fabrication technologies that will lead to clean and cost effective nanomanufacturing processes. . In addition to the more classical top-down processes such as photolithography, so-called bottom-up processes are also being developed for carrying out self-assembly of nanostructures into higher-order materials and devices. To this end, considerable efforts have been carried out on Layer-by-Layer (LBL) self-assembly processes as a way to make three dimensional structures. However, limitations of both passive and active LBL self-assembly processes provide considerable incentive to continue the development of better paradigms for this type of nanofabrication. More recently, we have developed an array process for the rapid and highly parallel assisted self-assembly of protein and DNA derivatized nanoparticles into multi-layer structures. This process allows 3D structures with more than forty alternating nanoparticle layers to be completed in less than one hour. Electric field assisted self-assembly represents an example of combining some of the best aspects of “top-down” and “bottom-up” technologies into viable process for the hierarchical assembly and integration of nanocomponents into 3D structures. Such a process may be useful for a variety of energy conversion (fuel cells, photovoltaics, and batteries) and nanocomposite materials applications.