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In situ fabrication of ultrathin porous alumina and its application for nanopatterning Au nanocrystals on the surface of ion-sensitive field-effect transistors.

A. Kisner, M. Heggen, W. Fischer, K. Tillmann, A. Offenhaeusser, L. T. Kubota and Y. Mourzina

Appeared in :  Nanotechnology 23 (2012) 485301 (9pp) ; doi:10.1088/0957-4484/23/48/485301

Published: November 2012

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In situ fabrication of ultrathin porous alumina and its application for nanopatterning Au nanocrystals on the surface of ion-sensitive field-effect transistorsScheme of the processes used to produce an array of Au nanoparticles on the gate of the field-effect transistor. SEM micrograph from the central area of a gate of a transistor showing the Au nanoparticles patterned on Si/SiO2 surface after removal of the ultrathin alumina film (A). Scale bar is 500 nm. B – IDS versus VGS curve (VDS = -1.5 V) of a transistor before and after the immobilization of captopril molecules on the surface of the Au nanoparticles.

Abstract:

In situ fabrication in a single step of thin films of alumina exhibiting a thickness of less than 100 nm and nanopores with a highly regular diameter distribution in order to pattern nanostructures over field-effect devices is a critical issue and has not previously been demonstrated. Here we report the fabrication in situ of 50 nm thick ultrathin nanoporous alumina membranes with a regular pore size directly over metal-free gate ion-sensitive field-effect transistors. Depositing thin films of aluminum by an electron beam at a relatively low rate of deposition on top of chips containing the transistors and using a conventional single-step anodization process permits the production of a well-adhering nanoporous ultrathin layer of alumina on the surface of the devices. The anodization process does not substantially affect the electrical properties of the transistors. The small thickness and pore size of ultrathin alumina membranes allow them to be sequentially employed as masks for patterning Au nanocrystals grown by an electroless approach directly on the top of the transistors. The patterning process using a wet chemical approach enables the size of the patterned crystals to be controlled not only by the dimensions of the pores of alumina, but also by the concentration of the reactants employed. Surface modification of these nanocrystals with alkanethiol molecules demonstrates that the electrostatic charge of the functional groups of the molecules can modulate the electrical characteristics of the transistors. These results represent substantial progress towards the development of novel nanostructured arrays on top of field-effect devices that can be applied for chemical sensing or non-volatile memories.


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