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Nanostructures manufactured in parallel: Several hundred billions of helices, as well as hooks or zigzag structures, can be created with the help of vapour deposition on a pre-structured wafer (a). Ultrasonication releases the nanocomponents from the substrate so that they can be brought into colloidal suspension (b). Shape and dimensions of the structures can be controlled very exactly (c,d). © Andrew G. Mark

Designing and building nanocomponents to spec

Hybrid, multifunctional nanostructures with diverse 3D shapes and complex material composition can now be manufactured with a precise and efficient fabrication technique

The realisation of nanomachines is inching ever closer to reality. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart are helping make one of the grand challenges of nanoscience become reality. They have developed a method that makes it possible to manufacture an assortment of unusually shaped and functionalisable nanostructures. It lets them combine materials with widely varying chemical and physical properties at the smallest of scales. The team of scientists headed by Peer Fischer have even grown helical light antennas that are less than 100nm in length from materials which can typically not be shaped at the nanoscale. This is achieved by vapour depositing the material onto a super-cooled rotating disk. Not only does the process allow for the fabrication of nanostructures more exactly than previous methods, several billion of such nanoparticles can be produced in parallel in a rapid manner.


People

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Peer Fischer
Professor, University of Stuttgart<br/ >Max Planck Research Group Leader
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Andrew Mark
Alumni