Wedging transfer of nanostructures

Nano Lett. 2010 May 12;10(5):1912-6. doi: 10.1021/nl1008037.


We report a versatile water-based method for transferring nanostructures onto surfaces of various shapes and compositions. The transfer occurs through the intercalation of a layer of water between a hydrophilic substrate and a hydrophobic nanostructure (for example, graphene flakes, carbon nanotubes, metallic nanostructures, quantum dots, etc.) locked within a hydrophobic polymer thin film. As a result, the film entrapping the nanostructure is lifted off and floats at the air-water interface. The nanostructure can subsequently be deposited onto a target substrate by the removal of the water and the dissolution of the polymeric film. We show examples where graphene flakes and patterned metallic nanostructures are precisely transferred onto a specific location on a variety of patterned substrates, even on top of curved objects such as microspheres. The method is simple to use, fast, and does not require advanced equipment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Crystallization / methods*
  • Macromolecular Substances / chemistry
  • Materials Testing
  • Molecular Conformation
  • Nanostructures / chemistry*
  • Nanostructures / ultrastructure*
  • Nanotechnology / methods*
  • Particle Size
  • Surface Properties
  • Water / chemistry*


  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Water