Self-Assembling Process for Fabricating Tailored Thin Films

Creating a self-assembling process for fabricating tailored thin films involved the development of a simple, soft coating process that forms optical, electrical, and magnetic thin films from self-assembled nanoparticles. The researchers -Hongyou Fan, Bruce Burckel, and Jeff Brinker from Sandia and Earl Stromberg of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics - developed a wet-solution-based process that uses self-assembly to create nanocomposite thin films. The properties of these films can easily be tuned by varying particle composition, sizes, shapes, packing density, and geometry.

For example, a film's index of refraction can be tuned by changing its nanoparticle composition, concentration, or both to exactly match a surface's required index of refraction. So an antireflective coating can be optimized for both optical glasses and high-index substrates, such as germanium windows. In addition, the Sandia-developed process makes it possible to engineer thin films with multiple functions. For instance, nanoparticle optical films can be made hydrophobic to avoid fogging and icing problems.

Self-Assembling Process for Fabricating Tailored Thin Films

Run time 2.42 mins

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