Korean researchers are using modified graphene to produce 3D nanopatterns that can be transferred onto other substrates to make flexible electronic devices.

Image: Professor SangOuk Kim

The process uses block copolymer (BCP) self-assembly on a chemically modified graphene (CMG) substrate to produce irregular, flexible and even three-dimensional nanostructures. BCP self-assembly is a process in which disorganized nanoscale components react with each other to form organized patterns.

CMG is an inexpensive, flat, smooth, robust, yet flexible and disposable intermediate film. It is an ideal foundation for producing precise, nanoscale semiconductor structures. CMG film can, in turn, be used to transfer the semiconductors it holds onto hardier plastic surfaces, which are themselves too rough or irregular to support accurate nanopatterns.

The researchers say CMG film is an excellent transferrable and disposable substrate for supporting self-assembling nanopatterns – far better than normal graphene. It keeps precise semiconductor patterns intact during transfer, even when applied to highly curved three-dimensional or flexible materials, without distorting nanopatterns or the larger designs they form.

The team says its process could also be used in concert with other self-assembly systems for producing nanostructures to make finer, more complex shapes than current methods allow on their own. It works with DNA and protein processes as well as mechanical nanopatterning methods such as e-beam lithography and scanning probe nanolithography. This research was published in Advanced Materials.



For further information contact:

Professor Sang-Ouk Kim
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)
Republic of Korea
Email: sangouk.kim@kaist.ac.kr