This proposal introduces monolithic nanofabrication, a high-throughput approach to produce hierarchically nanotextured surfaces by chemically treating thermoplastics. Apart from molding, most nanofabrication techniques rely on additive or subtractive methods to achieve a nanostructured substrate. This work aims to develop an entirely different strategy for surface texturing at the nanoscale by first reacting the top surface (skin layer) of a thermo-polymer with plasma gases and then relieving the strain in the system. Since surface nanotextures form spontaneously upon compression across the entire surface, the technique is massively parallel. Monolithic nanofabrication is also distinct because although no solid material is removed from or added to the starting substrate, a range of textures is possible, from high amplitude, one-dimensional (1D) nanofolds to hierarchical two-dimensional (2D) nanowrinkles with well-ordered substructure. This platform is well-suited to extract the fundamental principles of how plasma gases react with soft materials to produce local nanowrinkling. Access to large-area, hierarchical nanotextures in functional materials can open a range of new applications.
|Effective start/end date||5/1/15 → 4/30/20|
- National Science Foundation (CMMI-1462633)