Article abstract

Nature Nanotechnology 2, 570 - 576 (2007)
Published online: 2 September 2007 | doi:10.1038/nnano.2007.262

Subject term: Surface patterning and imaging

Nanoparticle printing with single-particle resolution

Tobias Kraus1,2, Laurent Malaquin1,3, Heinz Schmid1, Walter Riess1, Nicholas D. Spencer2 & Heiko Wolf1

Bulk syntheses of colloids efficiently produce nanoparticles with unique and useful properties. Their integration onto surfaces is a prerequisite for exploiting these properties in practice. Ideally, the integration would be compatible with a variety of surfaces and particles, while also enabling the fabrication of large areas and arbitrarily high-accuracy patterns. Whereas printing routinely meets these demands at larger length scales, we have developed a novel printing process that enables positioning of sub-100-nm particles individually with high placement accuracy. A colloidal suspension is inked directly onto printing plates, whose wetting properties and geometry ensure that the nanoparticles only fill predefined topographical features. The dry particle assembly is subsequently printed from the plate onto plain substrates through tailored adhesion. We demonstrate that the process can create a variety of particle arrangements including lines, arrays and bitmaps, while preserving the catalytic and optical activity of the individual nanoparticles.

  1. IBM Research GmbH, Zurich Research Laboratory, Säumerstrasse 4, 8803 Rüschlikon, Switzerland
  2. Laboratory for Surface Science and Technology, Department of Materials, ETH Zurich, Wolfgang-Pauli-Strasse 10, CH-8093 Zürich, Switzerland
  3. Present address: Laboratoire de Photonique et de Nanostructures, Route de Nozay, 91460 Marcoussis, France

Correspondence to: Heiko Wolf1 e-mail:


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