Generation of micro/nano metallic nanostructures using self-assembled monolayers as template and electrochemistry
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This thesis studies a scheme to fabricate small-scaled metal structures by electrochemical metal deposition and lift off. The key point is the use of self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) to control both interfacial charge transfer in electrodeposition and adhesion of the deposit to the substrate. Patterned SAMs exhibiting blocking and non-blocking areas are applied as templates in electrochemical deposition of Cu or Au. Thiol SAMs on Au substrates are used, namely alkane thiols and thiols combining an aliphatic chain with a biphenyl or biphenyl analogous pyridine-phenyl moieties. The patterning of SAMs is realised with microcontact printing (μCP) and electron beam lithography. Electrochemical deposition based on defects in the SAMs is optimised towards generating small nanostructures and depending on the system single or stepped potential procedures are applied. Generated metal structures are transferred to an insulator by lift off. Au microstructures (~10 μm) have been made with microcontact printing and transferred onto epoxy glue, which can potentially be used as microelectrodes in electroanalytical chemistry. Sub-100 nm Cu features and sub-40 nm Au features have been created with electron beam lithography respectively. Lift off process has successfully transferred Cu nanostructures onto epoxy glue with high precision. In contrast to the deposition mediated by defects, Cu deposition mediated by discharging Pd²⁺ coordinated to a pyridine terminated SAM directly through the SAM molecules has been explored as a new approach. This new approach has potential to decrease the size of the metal structure further and the preliminary results show possibility of sub-10 nm features. SAMs prepared with a newly synthesised molecule, 3-(4'-(methylthio)-[1,1'-biphenyl]-4-yl)propane-1-thiol, are characterised by STM, XPS and NEXAFS. The metal structures are investigated by SEM, AFM and STM.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Embargo Date: 2019-03-22
Embargo Reason: Thesis restricted in accordance with University regulations. Print and electronic copy restricted until 22nd March 2019
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