Saturday, July 01, 2006

US Patent 7067328 - Nanofabrication Using Transfer Printing

In addition to optical lithography, as in the previous posting, alternative nanofabrication techniques can be found using techniques common to the printing industry. Conductive or semiconductive nanoparticles can be placed in a carrier fluid and used as "inks" that are selectively placed on a variety of substrates. It is not unlikely that a few years down the line desktop circuit fabricators will be as common as desktop printers. Those companies investing in nanoelectronics that have experience in printing (HP is one example) may have a huge advantage if electronics fabrication continues to evolve toward printing based fabrication.

This patent focuses on transfer based printing to transfer nanoparticles from a transfer substrate roll to a receiving substrate. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of depositing nanomaterials onto a substrate, comprising: providing a plurality of nanostructures disposed upon a transfer substrate wherein the transfer substrate is disposed on a roll; providing an adherent material deposited on one or more selected regions of a receiving substrate; mating the transfer substrate with the receiving substrate whereupon the nanostructures contact the nanostructures on the transfer substrate with the one or more selected regions of the receiving substrate; and separating the transfer substrate from the receiving substrate to leave a population of nanostructures adhered to the one or more selected regions of the receiving substrate.