Development of a Scalable Bottom-Up Nanofabrication Platform
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We have developed a versatile spin-coating technique that combines the simplicity and cost benefits of bottom-up self-assembly with the scalability and compatibility of standard microfabrication. The methodology is based on shear-aligning concentrated colloidal suspensions using standard spin-coating equipment. It enables rapid production of colloidal photonic crystals with remarkably large domain sizes and unusual non-close-packed structures, as well as a myriad of functional nanostructured materials, including plasmonic metallic nanohole arrays, macroporous polymers, 3-D ordered nanocomposites, attoliter microvial arrays, 2-D magnetic nanodots, and more. The spin-coating process also provides a new route to study the fundamental aspects of shear-induced crystallization, melting and relaxation. The broad applications of the assembled periodic nanostructures in integrated optical circuits, surfaceenhanced Raman scattering (SERS) based electrochemical and biological sensors, and biomimitic broadband antireflection coatings will also be discussed.