Using Femtosecond Lasers, Harvard Researchers Make Advances in Nanoscale Metal Lithography

Harvard's novel fab process allows for lithography at three dimensions and at a high resolution for creation of metamaterials.
The new fabrication process uses extremely short and powerful laser pulses, which can create three-dimensional patterns of nanoscale siver dots within a material. The process was developed in Harvard Professor Eric Mazur's lab, and the research team includes Dr. Mazur, and graduate student and lead author Kevin Vora. Mr. Vora, Dr. Mazur, and the research team created a solution of silver nitrate, water, and PVP, then baked this onto a glass slide. The solid polymer has ions of silver, which are photoreduced by the laser pulses to form nanocrystals of silver metal, which are supported by the polymer matrix. These suspended metal dots could one day be the building block for futuristic devices. The Harvard team's work received support from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

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