The concept we are discussing here is the one that has been derived from the ancient fantasy of deriving gold from some valueless substances. A research team working in TU Wien recently came up with an innovative way to formulate pure gold nanostructures with an additive direct-write lithography technique. These researchers actually used an electron beam for turning auriferous organic compound into 24 carat gold. With the help of this new method nanostructures can now be made to meet several requirements in sensor and electronics technology.
TU Wien professor, Heinz Wanzenbock says, “Gold is not only a noble metal of exceptional beauty, but also a highly desired material for functional nanostructures.” Gold nanostructures with special patterns play important role in enabling structures in plasmonic equipment and for biosensors with immobilized antibodies as well as with electrical contacts. Fabrication of pure gold nanostructures over non-planar surfaces as well as 3-D gold nanostructures has been the biggest challenge till date. Till date, only 2-dimensional gold nanostructures over planar surfaces could be created with the help of resist based lithography.
The new methodology developed by TU Wien researchers answers this challenge up to quite an extent. The idea behind this technology is local decomposition of any metalorganic precursor through an intense electron beam of electron microscope. When focused with high accuracy, this electron beam can easily decompose the organic compound that is placed at the right position, leaving out a 3-dimensional trail of solid gold. The last challenge was to get hundred percent pure gold because till date the electron-stimulated decomposition till date resulted in just high carbon contaminations. This problem was solved through specially-designed, pure gold nanostructures. The complete process has been described by the team in their paper called “HIghly Conductive and pure gold nanostructures grown by electron beam induced deposition.”
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