SGER: Step-Place-Grow Assembly - An Approach to Economical, Environmentally Benign Manufacturing of Ordered Nano Structures

Project: Research project

Project Details


This Small Grant for Exploratory Research (SGER) award provides funding for the exploration of a new approach towards manufacturing of ordered nano structures. The Step-Place-Grow Assembly approach will utilize a reusable template to create nano stuctures that can be either totally grown in place, or assembled in place from previously made nano-powders, tubes, wires, rods, and fibers. Initial work will focus on growing polyanline nano-wires with height and width dimensions of less than 100 nm. Polymer nano-wires are of considerable interest for electronics and sensor applications and the process offers the ability to create contacted nano-wires for these applications in a single integrated step. Issues such as template materials release from the grown structure and precise filling of the nano channels prior to growth will be further addressed here building on our experience with polyaniline. Manufacturing issues related to large volume production such as working across large area substrates, applicability to multi-level structures, and dealing with manufacturing variation and non uniformity will be explored. Additionally manufacturing issues such as process parameters and control to address process variability, repeatable quality and process yields will be explored.

If successful, the Step-Place-Grow Assembly approach has the potential to be a viable and economical production process due to the following: the elimination of pick and place, elimination of the need for the repeated building and etching removal of templates, short process chain, applicability to wide range of materials, applicability to large areas, control of nano-structure containment, and potential to build large arrays of structures of dissimilar materials and disconnected regions. Additionally, this approach is environmentally conscious since it offers an pathway to the building of structures involving nanoparticles and nanowires, in which the nano-elements are contained and made only in the required number, while using shorter process chains. The approach also provides a generalized solution to the problem of positioning nano elements.

Effective start/end date7/1/0612/31/07


  • National Science Foundation: $79,467.00


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