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University of Illinois researchers demonstrate novel, tunable nanoantennas
Date:7/14/2014

Abdul Bhuiya (MS student in ECE student), Xin Yu (ECE post-grad), and K.C. Chow (a research engineer at the Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory)also demonstrated that the gap size for either individual or multiple p-BNAs can be tuned down to approximately 5 nm (roughly 4x smaller than what is currently achievable using conventional electron-beam lithography techniques).

The team demonstrated that an electron beam from a standard scanning electron microscope (SEM) can be used to deform either individual p-BNA structures or groups of p-BNAs within a sub-array with velocities as large as 60 nanometers per second. A photonic-crystal fiber was used to generate (quasi-white light) supercontinuum to probe the spectral response of select regions within the array.

The researchers said the importance of this work is three-fold: It enables tuning of the optical (plasmonic) response of the nanoantennas, down to the level of a single nanoantenna (approximately 250 nanometers across); it could lead to unique, spatially addressable nanophotonic devices for sensing and particle manipulation, for example; and, it provides a fertile platform for studying mechanical, electromagnetic, and thermal phenomena in a nanoscale system.

The team believes that the relatively high aspect ratio (pillar height-to-thickness) of 4.2 for the p-BNAs, along with a significant thermal contribution, permit sufficient compliance of the pillars to be actuated by electron-beam-induced gradient forces. Based on the observed experiments, the gradient force is estimated to be on the order of nanoNewtons.

"Our fabrication process shows for the first time an innovative way of fabricating plasmonic nanoantenna structures under the SEM, which avoids complications such as proximity effects from conventional lithography techniques," Bhuiya said. "This process also reduces the gap of the nanoantennas down to ~5 nm under SEM with a controlled reduction rate. With this new fabricati
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Contact: Kimani Toussaint
ktoussai@illinois.edu
217-244-4088
University of Illinois College of Engineering
Source:Eurekalert  

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