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Nano Scale Origami: Nanoboxes With Optoelectronic Properties

Question asked by Farjand in #Coffee Room on Jun 19, 2011
Farjand ยท Jun 19, 2011
Rank C2 - EXPERT
Scientists at Johns Hopkins University are now a day playing with nano-scale origami. They have succeeded in creating a hollow box of aluminum oxide patterning it with Gold. The new optoelectronic device can serve as a <em>3D split ring resonator</em>. The structure can now be used in metamaterials. The new Split ring resonator is expected to give a better performance as compared to its 2D version. The research now presents us with an opportunity of creating 3D shapes at a nano level as per the given conditions. The team at Johns Hopkins University was headed by David Gracias.


The team worked on an exothermic process by using silicon as a substrate. It was then deposited with a layer of polymethylmethacrylate (C<sub>5</sub>O<sub>2</sub>H<sub>8</sub>)<sub> n</sub>. polymethylmethacrylate is a transparent thermoplastic which is used as an alternative for glass. The team then prepared a mould a six side cube shaped cruciform using electron beam lithography. The approach adopted by researchers was a top down approach. The polymer is once again deposited after the mould is filled with Aluminum Oxide and then the portions of polymer at the meeting point of individual panels are etched out. The tin is made to form the hinges for the box. The polymer is removed completely and the silicon substrate is etched with activated Fluorine. The method very well uses the exothermic nature of the process. As the tin melts due to heat generated, it creates a twisting force. The force makes Alumina panels (the sides) to fold inwards which creates the box.

A normal Split ring resonator is used in a <em>negative index metamaterials</em> (NIM). They are non magnetic structures and are made from non-magnetic materials like Copper. These resonators find a wide scope in Acoustic and Terahertz metamaterials. The resonator is so named because its design is of two center-split closed loops. The structure developed will have great applications in fields ranging from Medicine to computers.

The development of 2D to 3D though a great achievement, still the process is expensive and the ways of mass production are yet to be found out. The new structure, being a new research, there is still a lot to be done.

Source: RSC Posted in: #Coffee Room

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