Ultra-Narrow Metallic Nano-Trenches Realized by Wet Etching and Critical Point Drying
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- Ultra-Narrow Metallic Nano-Trenches Realized by Wet Etching and Critical Point Drying
- Jeong, Jeeyoon; Yang, Hyosim; Park, Seondo; Park, Yun Daniel; Kim, Dai-Sik
- Issue Date
- NANOMATERIALS, v.11, no.3, pp.783
- A metallic nano-trench is a unique optical structure capable of ultrasensitive detection of molecules, active modulation as well as potential electrochemical applications. Recently, wet-etching the dielectrics of metal-insulator-metal structures has emerged as a reliable method of creating optically active metallic nano-trenches with a gap width of 10 nm or less, opening a new venue for studying the dynamics of nanoconfined molecules. Yet, the high surface tension of water in the process of drying leaves the nano-trenches vulnerable to collapsing, limiting the achievable width to no less than 5 nm. In this work, we overcome the technical limit and realize metallic nano-trenches with widths as small as 1.5 nm. The critical point drying technique significantly alleviates the stress applied to the gap in the drying process, keeping the ultra-narrow gap from collapsing. Terahertz spectroscopy of the trenches clearly reveals the signature of successful wet etching of the dielectrics without apparent damage to the gap. We expect that our work will enable various optical and electrochemical studies at a few-molecules-thick level.
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