Scanning electron micrograph image showing platinum wires being lifted away from the surface of the UNCD electrode. Inset: Higher magnification image showing a single ring of platinum removed from the UNCD surface.

Scientists from Argonne National Laboratory Center for Nanoscale Material's Nanofabrication Group, working with users from the University of Wisconsin-Stevenson Point, have discovered a fast, simple, scalable technique for solution-based, electrochemical synthesis of patterned metallic and semiconducting nanowires from a reusable, nonsacrificial, ultrananocrystalline diamond (UNCD) template.


The process involves fabrication of wafer-level electrochemical cells consisting of alternating insulating and conducting UNCD thin films. Unique electrochemical properties of electrically conducting nitrogen incorporated UNCD not only provide a robust electrode platform for electro-deposition of micro/nanowires of various materials, but also facilitate easy peeling-off of deposited micro/nanowires for repeat use. This bench-top technique is easy and quickly produces patterned nanowires on a large scale with diameters that are not predefined by the template, and do not require vacuum or clean-room processing. This offers a path for studying nanoscale phenomena and allows for process-scale development of a new generation of nanowire-based devices.


D.B. Seley et al., “Electroplate and Lift Lithography for Patterned Micro/Nanowires Using Ultrananocrystalline Diamond (UNCD) as a Reusable Template,” ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 3(4), 925-930 (2011)                           

Study abstract