Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 11

Search results for: nanofabrication

11 Using Different Methods of Nanofabrication as a New Way to Activate Cement Replacement Materials in Concrete Industry

Authors: Azadeh Askarinejad, Parham Hayati, Reza Parchami, Parisa Hayati


One of the most important industries and building operations causing carbon dioxide emission is the cement and concrete related industries so that cement production (including direct fuel for mining and transporting raw material) consumes approximately 6 million Btus per metric-ton, and releases about 1 metric-ton of CO2. Reducing the consumption of cement with simultaneous utilizing waste materials as cement replacement is preferred for reasons of environmental protection. Blended cements consist of different supplementary cementitious materials (SCM), such as fly ash, silica fume, Ground Granulated Blast Furnace Slag (GGBFS), limestone, natural pozzolans, etc. these materials should be chemically activated to show effective cementitious properties. The present review article reports three different methods of nanofabrication that were used for activation of two types of SCMs.

Keywords: nanofabrication, cement replacement materials, activation, concrete

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10 Various Modification of Electrochemical Barrier Layer Thinning of Anodic Aluminum Oxide

Authors: W. J. Stępniowski, W. Florkiewicz, M. Norek, M. Michalska-Domańska, E. Kościuczyk, T. Czujko


In this paper, two options of anodic alumina barrier layer thinning have been demonstrated. The approaches varied with the duration of the voltage step. It was found that too long step of the barrier layer thinning process leads to chemical etching of the nanopores on their top. At the bottoms pores are not fully opened what is disadvantageous for further applications in nanofabrication. On the other hand, while the duration of the voltage step is controlled by the current density (value of the current density cannot exceed 75% of the value recorded during previous voltage step) the pores are fully opened. However, pores at the bottom obtained with this procedure have smaller diameter, nevertheless this procedure provides electric contact between the bare aluminum (substrate) and electrolyte, what is suitable for template assisted electrodeposition, one of the most cost-efficient synthesis method in nanotechnology.

Keywords: anodic aluminum oxide, anodization, barrier layer thinning, nanopores

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9 Sensitivity Enhancement in Graphene Based Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) Biosensor

Authors: Angad S. Kushwaha, Rajeev Kumar, Monika Srivastava, S. K. Srivastava


A lot of research work is going on in the field of graphene based SPR biosensor. In the conventional SPR based biosensor, graphene is used as a biomolecular recognition element. Graphene adsorbs biomolecules due to carbon based ring structure through sp2 hybridization. The proposed SPR based biosensor configuration will open a new avenue for efficient biosensing by taking the advantage of Graphene and its fascinating nanofabrication properties. In the present study, we have studied an SPR biosensor based on graphene mediated by Zinc Oxide (ZnO) and Gold. In the proposed structure, prism (BK7) base is coated with Zinc Oxide followed by Gold and Graphene. Using the waveguide approach by transfer matrix method, the proposed structure has been investigated theoretically. We have analyzed the reflectance versus incidence angle curve using He-Ne laser of wavelength 632.8 nm. Angle, at which the reflectance is minimized, termed as SPR angle. The shift in SPR angle is responsible for biosensing. From the analysis of reflectivity curve, we have found that there is a shift in SPR angle as the biomolecules get attached on the graphene surface. This graphene layer also enhances the sensitivity of the SPR sensor as compare to the conventional sensor. The sensitivity also increases by increasing the no of graphene layer. So in our proposed biosensor we have found minimum possible reflectivity with optimum level of sensitivity.

Keywords: biosensor, sensitivity, surface plasmon resonance, transfer matrix method

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8 Reconstructing Calvarial Bone Lesions Using PHBV Scaffolds and Cord Blood Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Rat

Authors: Hamed Hosseinkazemi, Esmaeil Biazar


For tissue engineering of bone, anatomical and operational reconstructions of damaged tissue seem to be vital. This is done via reconstruction of bone and appropriate biological joint with bone tissues of damaged areas. In this study the condition of biodegradable bed Nanofibrous PHBV and USSC cells were used to accelerate bone repair of damaged area. Hollow nanofabrication scaffold of damageable life was designed as PHBV by electrospinning and via determining the best factors such as the kind and amount of solvent, specific volume and rate. The separation of osseous tissue infiltration and evaluating its nature by flow cytometrocical analysis was done. Animal test including USSC as well as PHBV condition in the damaged bone was done in the rat. After 8 weeks the implanted area was analyzed using CT scan and was sent to histopathology ward. Finally, the rate and quality of reconstruction were determined after H and E coloring. Histomorphic analysis indicated a statistically significant difference between the experimental group of PHBV, USSC+PHBV and control group. Besides, the histopathologic analysis showed that bone reconstruction rate was high in the area containing USSC and PHBV, compared with area having PHBV and control group and consequently the reconstruction quality of bones and the relationship between the new bone tissues and surrounding bone tissues were high too. Using PHBR scaffold and USSC together could be useful in the amending of wide range of bone lesion.

Keywords: bone lesion, nanofibrous PHBV, stem cells, umbilical cord blood

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7 Streptavidin-Biotin Attachment on Modified Silicon Nanowires

Authors: Shalini Singh, Sanjay K. Srivastava, Govind, Mukhtar. A. Khan, P. K. Singh


Nanotechnology is revolutionizing the development of biosensors. Nanomaterials and nanofabrication technologies are increasingly being used to design novel biosensors. Sensitivity and other attributes of biosensors can be improved by using nanomaterials with unique chemical, physical, and mechanical properties in their construction. Silicon is a promising biomaterial that is non-toxic and biodegradable and can be exploited in chemical and biological sensing. Present study demonstrated the streptavidin–biotin interaction on silicon surfaces with different topographies such as flat and nanostructured silicon (nanowires) surfaces. Silicon nanowires with wide range of surface to volume ratio were prepared by electrochemical etching of silicon wafer. The large specific surface of silicon nanowires can be chemically modified to link different molecular probes (DNA strands, enzymes, proteins and so on), which recognize the target analytes, in order to enhance the selectivity and specificity of the sensor device. The interaction of streptavidin with biotin was carried out on 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTS) functionalized silicon surfaces. Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) studies have been performed to characterize the surface characteristics to ensure the protein attachment. Silicon nanowires showed the enhance protein attachment, as compared to flat silicon surface due to its large surface area and good molecular penetration to its surface. The methodology developed herein could be generalized to a wide range of protein-ligand interactions, since it is relatively easy to conjugate biotin with diverse biomolecules such as antibodies, enzymes, peptides, and nucleotides.

Keywords: FTIR, silicon nanowires, streptavidin-biotin, XPS

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6 Laser Writing on Vitroceramic Disks for Petabyte Data Storage

Authors: C. Busuioc, S. I. Jinga, E. Pavel


The continuous need of more non-volatile memories with a higher storage capacity, smaller dimensions and weight, as well as lower costs, has led to the exploration of optical lithography on active media, as well as patterned magnetic composites. In this context, optical lithography is a technique that can provide a significant decrease of the information bit size to the nanometric scale. However, there are some restrictions that arise from the need of breaking the optical diffraction limit. Major achievements have been obtained by employing a vitoceramic material as active medium and a laser beam operated at low power for the direct writing procedure. Thus, optical discs with ultra-high density were fabricated by a conventional melt-quenching method starting from analytical purity reagents. They were subsequently used for 3D recording based on their photosensitive features. Naturally, the next step consists in the elucidation of the composition and structure of the active centers, in correlation with the use of silver and rare-earth compounds for the synthesis of the optical supports. This has been accomplished by modern characterization methods, namely transmission electron microscopy coupled with selected area electron diffraction, scanning transmission electron microscopy and electron energy loss spectroscopy. The influence of laser diode parameters, silver concentration and fluorescent compounds formation on the writing process and final material properties was investigated. The results indicate performances in terms of capacity with two order of magnitude higher than other reported information storage systems. Moreover, the fluorescent photosensitive vitroceramics may be integrated in other applications which appeal to nanofabrication as the driving force in electronics and photonics fields.

Keywords: data storage, fluorescent compounds, laser writing, vitroceramics

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5 Facile Surfactant-Assisted Green Synthesis of Stable Biogenic Gold Nanoparticles with Potential Antibacterial Activity

Authors: Sneha Singh, Abhimanyu Dev, Vinod Nigam


The major issue which decides the impending use of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) in nanobiotechnological applications is their particle size and stability. Often the AuNPs obtained biomimetically are considered useless owing to their instability in the aqueous medium and thereby limiting the widespread acceptance of this facile green synthesis procedure. So, the use of nontoxic surfactants is warranted to stabilize the biogenic nanoparticles (NPs). But does the surfactant only play a role in stabilizing by being adsorbed to the NPs surface or can it have any other significant contribution in synthesis process and controlling their size as well as shape? Keeping this idea in mind, AuNPs were synthesized by using surfactant treated (lechate) and untreated (cell lysate supernatant) Bacillus licheniformis cell extract. The cell extracts mediated reduction of chloroauric acid (HAuCl 4) in the presence of non-ionic surfactant, Tween 20 (TW20), and its effect on the AuNPs stability was studied. Interestingly, the surfactant used in the study served as potential alternative to harvest cellular enzymes involved in bioreduction process in a hassle free condition. The surfactants ability to solubilize/leach membrane proteins and simultaneously stabilizing the AuNPs could have advantage from process point of view as it will reduce the time and economics involve in the nanofabrication of biogenic NPs. The synthesis was substantiated with UV-Vis spectroscopy, Dynamic light scattering study, FTIR spectroscopy, and Transmission electron microscopy. The Zeta potential of AuNPs solutions was measured routinely to corroborate the stability observations recorded visually. Highly stable, ultra-small AuNPs of 2.6 nm size were obtained from the study. Further, the biological efficacy of the obtained AuNPs as potential antibacterial agent was evaluated against Bacilllus subtilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Escherichia coli by observing the zone of inhibition. This potential of AuNPs of size < 3 nm as antibacterial agent could pave way for development of new antimicrobials and overcoming the problems of antibiotics resistance

Keywords: antibacterial, bioreduction, nanoparticles, surfactant

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4 Luminescent Dye-Doped Polymer Nanofibers Produced by Electrospinning Technique

Authors: Monica Enculescu, A. Evanghelidis, I. Enculescu


Among the numerous methods for obtaining polymer nanofibers, the electrospinning technique distinguishes itself due to the more growing interest induced by its proved utility leading to developing and improving of the method and the appearance of novel materials. In particular, production of polymeric nanofibers in which different dopants are introduced was intensively studied in the last years because of the increased interest for the obtaining of functional electrospun nanofibers. Electrospinning is a facile method of obtaining polymer nanofibers with diameters from tens of nanometers to micrometrical sizes that are cheap, flexible, scalable, functional and biocompatible. Besides the multiple applications in medicine, polymeric nanofibers obtained by electrospinning permit manipulation of light at nanometric dimensions when doped with organic dyes or different nanoparticles. It is a simple technique that uses an electrical field to draw fine polymer nanofibers from solutions and does not require complicated devices or high temperatures. Different morphologies of the electrospun nanofibers can be obtained for the same polymeric host when different parameters of the electrospinning process are used. Consequently, we can obtain tuneable optical properties of the electrospun nanofibers (e.g. changing the wavelength of the emission peak) by varying the parameters of the fabrication method. We focus on obtaining doped polymer nanofibers with enhanced optical properties using the electrospinning technique. The aim of the paper is to produce dye-doped polymer nanofibers’ mats incorporating uniformly dispersed dyes. Transmission and fluorescence of the fibers will be evaluated by spectroscopy methods. The morphological properties of the electrospun dye-doped polymer fibers will be evaluated using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). We will tailor the luminescent properties of the material by doping the polymer (polyvinylpyrrolidone or polymethylmetacrilate) with different dyes (coumarins, rhodamines and sulforhodamines). The tailoring will be made taking into consideration the possibility of changing the luminescent properties of electrospun polymeric nanofibers that are doped with different dyes by using different parameters for the electrospinning technique (electric voltage, distance between electrodes, flow rate of the solution, etc.). Furthermore, we can evaluated the influence of the concentration of the dyes on the emissive properties of dye-doped polymer nanofibers using different concentrations. The advantages offered by the electrospinning technique when producing polymeric fibers are given by the simplicity of the method, the tunability of the morphology allowed by the possibility of controlling all the process parameters (temperature, viscosity of polymeric solution, applied voltage, distance between electrodes, etc.), and by the absence of necessity of using harsh and supplementary chemicals such as the ones used in the traditional nanofabrication techniques. Acknowledgments: The authors acknowledge the financial support received through IFA CEA Project No. C5-08/2016.

Keywords: electrospinning, luminescence, polymer nanofibers, scanning electron microscopy

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3 Fabrication of High-Aspect Ratio Vertical Silicon Nanowire Electrode Arrays for Brain-Machine Interfaces

Authors: Su Yin Chiam, Zhipeng Ding, Guang Yang, Danny Jian Hang Tng, Peiyi Song, Geok Ing Ng, Ken-Tye Yong, Qing Xin Zhang


Brain-machine interfaces (BMI) is a ground rich of exploration opportunities where manipulation of neural activity are used for interconnect with myriad form of external devices. These research and intensive development were evolved into various areas from medical field, gaming and entertainment industry till safety and security field. The technology were extended for neurological disorders therapy such as obsessive compulsive disorder and Parkinson’s disease by introducing current pulses to specific region of the brain. Nonetheless, the work to develop a real-time observing, recording and altering of neural signal brain-machine interfaces system will require a significant amount of effort to overcome the obstacles in improving this system without delay in response. To date, feature size of interface devices and the density of the electrode population remain as a limitation in achieving seamless performance on BMI. Currently, the size of the BMI devices is ranging from 10 to 100 microns in terms of electrodes’ diameters. Henceforth, to accommodate the single cell level precise monitoring, smaller and denser Nano-scaled nanowire electrode arrays are vital in fabrication. In this paper, we would like to showcase the fabrication of high aspect ratio of vertical silicon nanowire electrodes arrays using microelectromechanical system (MEMS) method. Nanofabrication of the nanowire electrodes involves in deep reactive ion etching, thermal oxide thinning, electron-beam lithography patterning, sputtering of metal targets and bottom anti-reflection coating (BARC) etch. Metallization on the nanowire electrode tip is a prominent process to optimize the nanowire electrical conductivity and this step remains a challenge during fabrication. Metal electrodes were lithographically defined and yet these metal contacts outline a size scale that is larger than nanometer-scale building blocks hence further limiting potential advantages. Therefore, we present an integrated contact solution that overcomes this size constraint through self-aligned Nickel silicidation process on the tip of vertical silicon nanowire electrodes. A 4 x 4 array of vertical silicon nanowires electrodes with the diameter of 290nm and height of 3µm has been successfully fabricated.

Keywords: brain-machine interfaces, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), nanowire, nickel silicide

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2 A Robust Stretchable Bio Micro-Electromechanical Systems Technology for High-Strain in vitro Cellular Studies

Authors: Tiffany Baetens, Sophie Halliez, Luc Buée, Emiliano Pallecchi, Vincent Thomy, Steve Arscott


We demonstrate here a viable stretchable bio-microelectromechanical systems (BioMEMS) technology for use with biological studies concerned with the effect of high mechanical strains on living cells. An example of this is traumatic brain injury (TBI) where neurons are damaged with physical force to the brain during, e.g., accidents and sports. Robust, miniaturized integrated systems are needed by biologists to be able to study the effect of TBI on neuron cells in vitro. The major challenges in this area are (i) to develop micro, and nanofabrication processes which are based on stretchable substrates and to (ii) create systems which are robust and performant at very high mechanical strain values—sometimes as high as 100%. At the time of writing, such processes and systems were rapidly evolving subject of research and development. The BioMEMS which we present here is composed of an elastomer substrate (low Young’s modulus ~1 MPa) onto which is patterned robust electrodes and insulators. The patterning of the thin films is achieved using standard photolithography techniques directly on the elastomer substrate—thus making the process generic and applicable to many materials’ in based systems. The chosen elastomer used is commercial ‘Sylgard 184’ polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). It is spin-coated onto a silicon wafer. Multistep ultra-violet based photolithography involving commercial photoresists are then used to pattern robust thin film metallic electrodes (chromium/gold) and insulating layers (parylene) on the top of the PDMS substrate. The thin film metals are deposited using thermal evaporation and shaped using lift-off techniques The BioMEMS has been characterized mechanically using an in-house strain-applicator tool. The system is composed of 12 electrodes with one reference electrode transversally-orientated to the uniaxial longitudinal straining of the system. The electrical resistance of the electrodes is observed to remain very stable with applied strain—with a resistivity approaching that of evaporated gold—up to an interline strain of ~50%. The mechanical characterization revealed some interesting original properties of such stretchable BioMEMS. For example, a Poisson effect induced electrical ‘self-healing’ of cracking was identified. Biocompatibility of the commercial photoresist has been studied and is conclusive. We will present the results of the BioMEMS, which has also characterized living cells with a commercial Multi Electrode Array (MEA) characterization tool (Multi Channel Systems, USA). The BioMEMS enables the cells to be strained up to 50% and then characterized electrically and optically.

Keywords: BioMEMS, elastomer, electrical impedance measurements of living cells, high mechanical strain, microfabrication, stretchable systems, thin films, traumatic brain injury

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1 Influence of Counter-Face Roughness on the Friction of Bionic Microstructures

Authors: Haytam Kasem


The problem of quick and easy reversible attachment has become of great importance in different fields of technology. For the reason, during the last decade, a new emerging field of adhesion science has been developed. Essentially inspired by some animals and insects, which during their natural evolution have developed fantastic biological attachment systems allowing them to adhere and run on walls and ceilings of uneven surfaces. Potential applications of engineering bio-inspired solutions include climbing robots, handling systems for wafers in nanofabrication facilities, and mobile sensor platforms, to name a few. However, despite the efforts provided to apply bio-inspired patterned adhesive-surfaces to the biomedical field, they are still in the early stages compared with their conventional uses in other industries mentioned above. In fact, there are some critical issues that still need to be addressed for the wide usage of the bio-inspired patterned surfaces as advanced biomedical platforms. For example, surface durability and long-term stability of surfaces with high adhesive capacity should be improved, but also the friction and adhesion capacities of these bio-inspired microstructures when contacting rough surfaces. One of the well-known prototypes for bio-inspired attachment systems is biomimetic wall-shaped hierarchical microstructure for gecko-like attachments. Although physical background of these attachment systems is widely understood, the influence of counter-face roughness and its relationship with the friction force generated when sliding against wall-shaped hierarchical microstructure have yet to be fully analyzed and understood. To elucidate the effect of the counter-face roughness on the friction of biomimetic wall-shaped hierarchical microstructure we have replicated the isotropic topography of 12 different surfaces using replicas made of the same epoxy material. The different counter-faces were fully characterized under 3D optical profilometer to measure roughness parameters. The friction forces generated by spatula-shaped microstructure in contact with the tested counter-faces were measured on a home-made tribometer and compared with the friction forces generated by the spatulae in contact with a smooth reference. It was found that classical roughness parameters, such as average roughness Ra and others, could not be utilized to explain topography-related variation in friction force. This has led us to the development of an integrated roughness parameter obtained by combining different parameters which are the mean asperity radius of curvature (R), the asperity density (η), the deviation of asperities high (σ) and the mean asperities angle (SDQ). This new integrated parameter is capable of explaining the variation of results of friction measurements. Based on the experimental results, we developed and validated an analytical model to predict the variation of the friction force as a function of roughness parameters of the counter-face and the applied normal load, as well.

Keywords: friction, bio-mimetic micro-structure, counter-face roughness, analytical model

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