Photolithography technology for the first time painted silver nanostructures

In collaboration with the Federal Agency for Materials Testing and Research, the Center for Materials and Energy Research in Berlin, Germany, for the first time completed photolithographic nanostructures on a silver substrate, opening up new ways for future optical computer data processing and new electronic device manufacturing. The results were published in the Journal of Applied Materials and Interfaces of the American Chemical Society.

In order to obtain a fine structure pattern on the surface of the material, the best choice is to use an electron microscope scanning technique that uses electron beams to perform complex lithography on its surface. This technology has been applied to the fabrication of nanostructures of many metallic materials such as platinum, gold, and copper, but it has not been successfully applied to silver materials. Silver has a wide range of applications in the electronics industry.

This time, the team successfully used lithography to fabricate nanostructured crystals on silver. The biggest difficulty in this experiment is finding suitable silver compounds and developing injection parts for electron beams. Since the typical silver compound is very chemically active and difficult to gasify, even when the injection part heats up to react with the container wall, the passage of the container to the tip of the injection part often blocks when the test temperature decreases, so the lithography technique must be satisfied. The request is particularly difficult.

The physicist Dr. Hoff Lich said that the silver dimethyl compound they chose was very stable and only decomposed at the beam spot. The principle of silver lithography is similar to that of other materials. The tip of a lithography machine injects a trace of a precursor material, typically an organometallic compound, near the surface of the sample. The electron beam impinges on the surface of the sample, decomposes the surface material molecules and non-volatile residues, and is fixed at a certain position on the sample. The electron beam travels like a pen on the bottom of the material and draws the desired structure. This technique is also suitable for drawing 3D structures on many underlying materials.

The newly developed silver nanostructured materials have extraordinary optical properties. Visible light can control the free electrons to vibrate in the silver structure, that is, the so-called plasma element is formed and displayed through a dense beam, through the intensity and color of the light. You can read the relevant information on the surface of the structure. With Raman spectroscopy, this effect can also be used to verify the "fingerprint" of a particular molecule.

Silver nanostructures have great application potential in the fields of electronics and information technology, and can be used as basic materials for pure optical data processing. However, in actual applications, silver nanostructure lithography processes need to be further refined. (Reporter Gu Gang)


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