Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Nanopillar


Highly efficient room-temperature ultraviolet (UV) luminescence is obtained in heterostructures consisting of 10-nm-thick ultrathin ZnO films grown on Si nanopillars fabricated using self-assembled silver nanoislands as a natural metal nanomask during a subsequent dry etching process. Atomic layer deposition was applied for depositing the ZnO films on the Si nanopillars under an ambient temperature of 200°C. Based on measurements of photoluminescence (PL), an intensive UV emission corresponding to free-exciton recombination (approximately 3.31 eV) was observed with a nearly complete suppression of the defect-associated, broad-range visible emission peak. As compared to the ZnO/Si substrate, the almost five-times-of-magnitude enhancement in the intensity of PL, which peaked around 3.31 eV in the present ultrathin ZnO/Si nanopillars, is presumably attributed to the high surface/volume ratio inherent to the Si nanopillars. This allowed considerably more amount of ZnO material to be grown on the template and led to markedly more efficient intrinsic emission.

Concepts: Ultraviolet, Titanium dioxide, Luminescence, Zinc oxide, Sunscreen, Surface-area-to-volume ratio, Intensive and extensive properties, Nanopillar


A new strategy to elaborate (1-3) type multiferroic nanocomposites with controlled dimensions and vertical alignment is presented. The process involves a supported nanoporous alumina layer as a template for growth of free-standing and vertically aligned CoFe2 nanopillars using a room temperature pulsed electrodeposition process. Ba0.70Sr0.30TiO3-CoFe2O4 multiferroic nanocomposites were grown through direct deposition of Ba0.7Sr0.3TiO3 films by radio-frequency sputtering on the top surface of the pillar structure, with in-situ simultaneous oxidation of CoFe2 nanopillars. The vertically aligned multiferroic nanocomposites were characterized using various techniques for their structural and physical properties. The large interfacial area between the ferrimagnetic and ferroelectric phases leads to a magnetoelectric voltage coefficient as large as ~320 mV cm-1 Oe-1 at room temperature, reaching the highest values reported so far for vertically architectured nanocomposite systems. This simple method has great potential for large-scale synthesis of many other hybrid vertically aligned multiferroic heterostructures.

Concepts: Condensed matter physics, Temperature, Nanomaterials, Materials science, Nanocomposite, Physical property, Nanopillar, The Pillar


This work presents arrays of heterogeneous nanopillars stacked with Si bodies and SiO2 heads for biomedical applications. Novel crossed and overlapped spacer techniques are proposed to fabricate the nanopillar arrays in controllable dimensions. For the nanopillars in the arrays, the minimum spacing, body diameter and head tip-radius reach 100 nm, 23 nm and 11 nm, respectively. The maximum height is 1.2 μm. In addition, because of hydrophilic/hydrophobic selectivity between the SiO2 heads and Si bodies, localized nanoliter water-droplet condensing, fluorescein solution extraction and protein capturing are observed on the SiO2 pillar heads. These experiments demonstrate the great potential of heterogeneous nanopillars in biomedical applications.

Concepts: Space, Length, Maxima and minima, Body, Head, Nanopillar


Bent Cu-Al-Ni nanopillars (diameters 90-750 nm) show a shape memory effect, SME, for diameters D > 300 nm. The SME and the associated twinning are located in a small deformed section of the nanopillar. Thick nanopillars (D > 300 nm) transform to austenite under heating, including the deformed region. Thin nanopillars (D < 130 nm) do not twin but generate highly disordered sequences of stacking faults in the deformed region. No SME occurs and heating converts only the undeformed regions into austenite. The defect-rich, deformed region remains in the martensite phase even after prolonged heating in the stability field of austenite. A complex mixture of twins and stacking faults was found for diameters 130 nm < D < 300 nm. The size effect of the SME in Cu-Al-Ni nanopillars consists of an approximately linear reduction of the SME between 300 and 130 nm when the SME completely vanishes for smaller diameters.

Concepts: Effect size, Twin, Austenite, Target Field, Region, Martensite, Shape memory alloy, Nanopillar


Tapered nanopillar structures of different cross-sectional geometries including cone-, pencil-like, and stepwise are prepared from anodized aluminum oxide templates. The shape effect on the adhesion strength is investigated in experiments and simulation. Cone-shaped nanopillars are highly bendable under load and can recover after unloading, thus, warranting high adhesion strength, 34 N cm(-2) . Pencil-like and stepwise nano-pillars are, however, easily fractured and not recoverable under the same conditions.

Concepts: Oxygen, Aluminium, Electrolysis, Passivation, Anodizing, Nanopillar


N. A. Kotov, S. J. Lee, and co-workers demonstrate on page 6119 that large-scale nanopillar arrays are produced in a single-step replication process and are transferable onto everyday materials. Ink-jet layer-by-layer assembly (LBL) creates overt and covert images on the nanopillars. The hidden images are revealed by light breath. Durable and scalable nanopillar arrays with LBL layers create new possibilities for combating counterfeiting of many goods, and other applications.

Concepts: Nanorod, Nanopillar, The Hidden


Si/N-doped TiO2 core/shell nanopillar arrays with a nanoporous structure are fabricated through a simple protein-mediated TiO2 deposition process. The Si nanopillar arrays are used as templates and alternatively immersed in aqueous solutions of catalytic molecules (protamine, PA) and the titania precursor (titanium(iv) bis(ammonium lactato)dihydroxide, Ti-BALDH) for the layer by layer mineralization of a PA/TiO2 coating. After a subsequent calcination, a N-doped TiO2 layer is formed, and its thickness could be controlled by varying the cycles of deposition. Moreover, the nanoporous structure of the Si nanopillars strongly affects the formation of the TiO2 layer. The obtained Si/TiO2 nanocomposites show significantly improved solar absorption compared with commercially purchased TiO2 nanoparticles.

Concepts: Ultraviolet, Concentration, Chemistry, Nanomaterials, Solar cell, Solutions, Aqueous solution, Nanopillar


Biologically inspired biophotonic surfaces with self-antireflection for highly sensitive biosensing and bioimaging are reported. The effective index of large-area glass nanopillar arrays spontaneously meets an antireflection condition when a solution with diverse index surrounds the nanopillars. The bio-inspired biophotonic surfaces enable not only highly intense fluorescence or surface enhanced Raman scattering but also high contrast imaging due to the self-antireflection.

Concepts: Biology, Scattering, Nanomaterials, Surface, Raman scattering, Rayleigh scattering, Brillouin scattering, Nanopillar


Radial metallic nanopillar/nanowire structures can be created by a controlled RF plasma processing technique on the surface of certain alloy wires, including important biomedical alloys such as MP35N (Co-Ni-Cr-Mo alloy), platinum-iridium, or stainless steel. In electrode applications such as pacemakers or neural stimulators, the increase in surface area in elongated MP35N nanopillars allows for decreased surface impedance and greater current density. However, the nanopillar height on MP35N alloy tends to be self-limiting at ∼1-3μm. The objective of this study was to further elongate the radial nanopillars so as to reduce electrode impedance for biomedical electrode applications. Intelligent experimental design allowed for efficient investigation of processing parameters including plasma-material, process duration, power, pressure, and repetition. It was found that multi-step repeated processing in the parameter-controlled RF environment could increase nanopillar height to ∼10μm, a 400% improvement, while the RF plasma processing with identical total duration but in a single step did not lead to desired nanopillar elongation. Measurement of electrode impedance in phosphate-buffered saline solution showed an associated decrease to 1/5th the surface impedance of unprocessed wire for signals below 100 Hz. For the purposes of this study, MP35N and Pt-Ir wires were characterized and demonstrated augmented surface impedance properties which, in combination with superior cell integration, enhanced biomedical electrode performance.

Concepts: Iron, Density, Zinc, Copper, Alloy, Steel, Stainless steel, Nanopillar


Silicon metal-assisted chemical etching (MACE) is a nanostructuring technique exploiting the enhancement of the silicon etch rate at some metal-silicon interfaces. Compared to more traditional approaches, MACE is a high-throughput technique, and it is one of the few that enables the growth of vertical 1D structures of virtually unlimited length. As such, it has already found relevant technological applications in fields ranging from energy conversion to biosensing. Yet, its implementation has always required metal patterning to obtain nanopillars. Here, we report how MACE may lead to the formation of porous silicon nanopillars even in the absence of gold patterning. We show how the use of inhomogeneous yet continuous gold layers leads to the generation of a stress field causing spontaneous local delamination of the metal-and to the formation of silicon nanopillars where the metal disruption occurs. We observed the spontaneous formation of nanopillars with diameters ranging from 40 to 65 nm and heights up to 1 μm. Strain-controlled generation of nanopillars is consistent with a mechanism of silicon oxidation by hole injection through the metal layer. Spontaneous nanopillar formation could enable applications of this method to contexts where ordered distributions of nanopillars are not required, while patterning by high-resolution techniques is either impractical or unaffordable.

Concepts: Chemical element, Aluminium, Layer, Silicon, Object-oriented programming, Etch, Etching, Nanopillar