Wednesday, May 31, 2006

US Patent 7052618 - Nanoparticle Patterning

There are many approaches to fabrication of nanoparticles including chemical synthesis, laser vaporization, and chemical vapor deposition. However, usually only random or highly ordered arrays of nanoparticles may be formed on a substrate and there are few techniques to form arbitrary patterned arrangements. This patent offers one possible solution which may be suitable for mass production because it utilizes the traditional photolithography processes. A polymer film is deposited on a substrate contains nanoparticles maintained in a nonvolatile state by a surrounding "vector polymer". The typical patterning procedures such as commonly employed in UV lithography may then be employed followed by removal of residual organic components leaving an array of nanoparticles in a shape or arrangement determined by the lithography. Claim 1 reads:

1. A nanostructure fabrication method, comprising: forming on a substrate a film including a vector polymer comprising a payload moiety; patterning the film; and removing organic components of the patterned film to form a payload-comprising nanoparticle.