Reference : Nanostructuration induced by self-organization of polystyrene nanospheres as a template ...
Dissertations and theses : Doctoral thesis
Physical, chemical, mathematical & earth Sciences : Chemistry
Nanostructuration induced by self-organization of polystyrene nanospheres as a template for the controlled growth of functional materials
[fr] Nanostructuration induite par l'auto-organosation de nanosphères de polystyrène jouant un rôle de template pour la croissance de contrôlée de matériaux fonctionnels
Colson, Pierre mailto [Université de Liège - ULg > Département de chimie (sciences) > LCIS - GreenMAT >]
Université de Liège, ​​Belgium
Docteur en sciences
Cloots, Rudi
Jérôme, Christine
Thevenard, Laura
Henrist, Catherine
Delwiche, Jacques
Fleury-Frenette, Karl
Su, Bao-Lian
[en] Nanosphere lithography ; Spin coating ; Image analysis ; Experimental Design ; Reactive Ion Etching ; FePt ; Co ; ZnO ; Hydrothermal Growth ; SEM ; XRD ; AFM ; MFM ; SQUID ; Focused MOKE ; Dye loading ; Contact Angle
[en] In the last few years, nanosphere lithography emerged as an inexpensive, material specific and high-output nanostructure fabrication process to manufacture arrays of periodic structures.

The goal of this thesis was centered on both parts of the nanosphere lithography process, namely first the optimization of monolayer colloidal masks prepared by spin coating of monodisperse polystyrene (PS) nanospheres and secondly the use of these masks to develop new attractive applications in various fields.

In order to assess the quality of the manufactured colloidal crystal masks, we developed a computerized image analysis procedure (Matlab) based on SEM micrographs. We successfully performed the different stages of the image analysis in such a way to discriminate and identify each nanosphere. As a quantification of order in the self-organized nanospheres, we chose to determine the percentage of hexacoordinated nanospheres by computing the distances between each of them.

We applied experimental design to spin coating to evaluate the efficiency of this method to extract and model the relationships between the experimental parameters and the degree of ordering in the particles monolayers. We identified adequate spin coating parameters to synthesize large defect-free domains, reaching up to 200 μm2, which is the highest value ever reported for samples prepared by spin coating. Statistical analysis highlighted that rapid substrate acceleration and high rotation rates are necessary to get large, well-ordered areas. We also studied the surfactant concentration usually added to the beads suspension or the use of reactive ion etching (RIE) process to modify the masks.

By using PS nanosphere templates (490 nm or 250 nm diameter), we successfully manufactured large arrays of L10-Fe50Pt50 and Co nanotriangles with uniform sizes. In addition to crystallographic and microstructural characterizations, we evaluated the magnetic properties of the nanostructures both from a qualitative (MFM) and quantitative (SQUID) point of view. The magnetic stability of the single-domain FePt nanodots was evidenced by focused MOKE analysis. This is of major importance for further use in magnetic storage applications and has never been reported yet. The soft magnetic Co nanodots displayed either single domain or vortex domains states, depending on the magnetization direction. The MOKE hysteresis loops revealed an increased coercive field compared with thin films. This is probably due to a specific magnetization reversal process caused by the shape of the nanodots.

Oxide nanostructures were then manufactured.
The polystyrene templates (490 nm diameter) were used for the guided hydrothermal growth of well-aligned ZnO nanowires. The control of the spacing between the nanowires combined with high c-axis preferred orientation led to higher dye loading values compared with continuous unpatterned films. This was undoubtedly attributed to an increased accessible surface area due to the patterning. Moreover, the increased roughness due to the patterning induced a higher water contact angle compared with an unpatterned ZnO nanowire array. Reversible superhydrophylicity to hydrophobicity was observed and controlled by successive UV illumination and O2 annealing.

The achievements attained in this work have brought a significant contribution to the field of nano- and microfabrication. New pathways were opened for interesting future work with respect to continued fundamental and applied research.

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