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A Spanish research institution and the University of Oporto have developed a method that combines lithographic printing techniques, aluminium anodizing for the manufacture of highly ordered nanoporous alumina templates and metal sputtering by which metal nanostructures with the same ordering pattern are obtained. These nanostructures can be used in different magnetic and nanoelectronic devices.
Nanoporous templates with different geometry for nanostructured metal coatings
The method consists of the following steps (Figure 1):
1. Starts from high purity aluminium laminates.
2. The mold (CD,DVD and BR discs) is pressed onto the laminate, printing the predefined pattern of the particular disc on it. This process can be performed multiple times, changing the print angle to obtain templates of different geometry (cubic, triangular, rhombus symmetry).
3. By means of an electrochemical anodizing process the aluminium is oxized and by self-assembly originates a template with ordered nanopores respecting the pattern previously printed.
4. By sputtering on the surface is obteined a metal coating that respects the aforementioned pattern.
In particular, it allows the production of metal nanostructures os different ferromagnetic materials of high applicability.
Industrial partners from the nanotechnology are being sought to collaborate through a patent license agreement.
Then main advantages are:
- The molds used are low cost and large surface area. The printing process is short (2 hours) and easily mechanizable.
- A single anodizing process is performed, increasing corrosion resistance and providing better adhesion than bare metal.
- The market for aluminium nanostructured materials templates is continuously growing thanks to its high profitability.
-The possibility of manufacturing ferromagnetic nanostructured coatings offers new alternatives in the field of magnetic materials for magnetic sensors and new recording media.
- New possibilities of application of these ordered nanostructures for nanophotonic devices (microlasers, portable sensors) and magnionic (transmit information faster and with lower energy expenditure).
Spanish patent application filed
Industrial partners from the energy, electronic and textile are being sought to collaborate through a patent licence agreement. The partner role will be: (i) produce the product and, (ii) commercialize the product.