X-Ray Lithography of Metal and Semiconductor Nanoparticles
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In the last few years, a considerable amount of research has focused on the three-dimensional fabrication of contacts and electronic devices. Most techniques, however, are essentially based on photoreduction, and are limited to noble- and semi-noble metals. We present here a general method that allows patterning of porous matrices in 3D with metal, but also with semiconductor nanoparticles which is of potential relevance for microfabrication applications. In our method, the pore-filling solvent of a sol-gel material is exchanged with a solution of precursors. The precursors are photodissociated and nanoparticles are formed when the monoliths are irradiated. In a series of previous publications we showed that noble metals but also semiconductor quantum dots can be produced with our technique. Here we focus on the Xray variation of our technique and show that monoliths can be patterned with metals and also with semiconductor nanoparticles. The patterns have the same resolution than the masks, i.e., around 10 μm, and extend into the bulk of the monoliths for up to a depth of 12 mm. Our method possesses several attractive features. Sample preparation is very simple; the technique has a bottom-up character; it allows access to a wide number of materials, such as noble metals and II-VI semiconductor materials; and it has a 3D character. With additional developments, our technique could be possibly used to complement more established techniques such as LIGA and multiphoton fabrication techniques which are currently used for 3D microfabrication.