Microparticles of lactose are trapped in self-organized structures made from thin-film metal.
(credit: Khattiya Chalapat, et al./Aalto University)

Creating complex 3D metallic structures at nanoscale

October 21, 2012

Scientists from Aalto University in Finland and the University of Washington have demonstrated how to create complex 3D structures at nanoscale by combining ion processing and nanolithography.

The fabrication of many objects, machines, and devices rely on the controlled deformation of metals by industrial processes such as bending, shearing, and stamping. Is this technology transferrable to nanoscale? Can we build similarly complex devices and machines with very small dimensions?

When dandelion flowers bloom, if you cut the flower stem into small strips and put them in water, the strips will fold with observable width-dependent curvatures due to differences in the water absorption between the inside and outside parts of the stem.

“Our idea was to find a way to adapt these natural processes to nanofabrication,” said Khattiya Chalapat of Aalto University. “This led us to an incidental finding that a focused ion beam can locally induce bending with nanoscale resolution.”

Read more: Creating complex 3D metallic structures at nanoscale | KurzweilAI.

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