Inertially assisted nanoscale self-assembly

Nanotechnology. 2010 Sep 17;21(37):375604. doi: 10.1088/0957-4484/21/37/375604. Epub 2010 Aug 19.


We present a simple and versatile method for integrating submicron objects onto pre-determined locations on a substrate. The method relies on augmenting inertial forces using centrifugal motion and geometric constraints to guide the placement of submicron objects on a substrate with minimal requirements for surface engineering and binding chemistries. Here, we demonstrate the utility of the method for placing gold particles, metal nanorods and inorganic nanocrystals. The method has demonstrated high yield of self-assembly for submicron particles with a variety of shapes and sizes. We have been able to get a near-perfect yield for filling hundreds of traps with nanoparticles in only 20 min. Two hundred nanometer diameter nanorods were self-assembled into an array of 256 traps on the template with 92% yield. 1.4 microm and 300 nm sodium chloride crystals were self-assembled in arrays of 7000 and 576 traps, respectively, with near-perfect yield in filling each site. Due to its convenient set-up and high performance, inertially assisted self-assembly can be easily adopted and used for a variety of integration needs on the submicron scale.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.