Fabrication of Conductive Nanostructures by Femtosecond Laser Induced Reduction of Silver Ions
Nanofabrication through multiphoton absorption has generated considerable interest because of its unique ability to generate 2D and 3D structures in a single laser-direct-write step as well as its ability to generate feature sizes well below the diffraction limited laser spot size. The majority of multiphoton fabrication has been used to create 3D structures of photopolymers which have applications in a wide variety of fields, but require additional post-processing steps to fabricate conductive structures. It has been shown that metal ions can also undergo multiphoton absorption, which reduces the metal ions to stable atoms/nanoparticles which are formed at the laser focal point. When the focus is located at the substrate surface, the reduced metal is deposited on the surface, which allows arbitrary 2D patterning as well as building up 3D structures from this first layer. Samples containing the metal ions can be prepared either in a liquid solution, or in a polymer film. The polymer film approach has the benefit of added support for the 3D metallic structures; however it is difficult to remove the polymer after fabrication to leave a free standing metallic structure. With the ion solution method, free standing metallic structures can be fabricated but need to be able to withstand surface tension forces when the remaining unexposed solution is washed away. So far, silver nanowires with resistivity on the order of bulk silver have been fabricated, as well as a few small 3D structures. This research focuses on the surfactant assisted multiphoton reduction of silver ions in a liquid solution. The experimental setup consists of a Coherent Micra 10 Ultrafast laser with 30fs pulse length, 80MHz repetition rate, and a wavelength centered at 800nm. This beam is focused into the sample using a 100x objective with a N.A. of 1.49. Silver structures such as nanowires and grid patterns have been produced with minimum linewidth of 180nm. Silver nanowires with resistivity down to 6x bulk silver have been fabricated. Three-dimensional structures have also been fabricated with up to a 10µm height at a thickness of 500nm. This method can fabricate structures with the possible applications in plasmonic metamaterials, photonic crystals, MEMS/NEMS and micro/nanocircuitry.
Xu, Purdue University.
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