High Resolution Patterning of Silica Aerogels
Three-dimensional metallic structures are fabricated with high spatial resolution in silica aerogels. In our method, silica hydrogels are prepared with a standard base-catalyzed route, and exchanged with an aqueous solution typically containing Ag+ ions (1 M) and 2-propanol (0.2 M). The metal ions are reduced photolytically with a table-top ultraviolet lamp, or radiolytically, with a focused X-ray beam. We fabricated dots and lines as small as 30 × 70 μm, protruding for several mm into the bulk of the materials. The hydrogels are eventually supercritically dried to yield aerogels, without any measurable change in the shape and spatial resolution of the lithographed structures. Transmission electron microscopy shows that illuminated regions are composed by Ag clusters with a size of several μm, separated by thin layers of silica.
J. Sosa et al., "High Resolution Patterning of Silica Aerogels," Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids, Elsevier, Jan 2004.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnoncrysol.2003.09.039
Mining and Nuclear Engineering
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