Article abstract

Nature Nanotechnology 3, 234 - 239 (2008)
Published online: 23 March 2008 | doi:10.1038/nnano.2008.54

Subject Categories: Nanomaterials | Synthesis and processing

Structural engineering of nanoporous anodic aluminium oxide by pulse anodization of aluminium

Woo Lee1,2, Kathrin Schwirn1, Martin Steinhart1, Eckhard Pippel1, Roland Scholz1 & Ulrich Gösele1

Nanoporous anodic aluminium oxide has traditionally been made in one of two ways: mild anodization or hard anodization. The first method produces self-ordered pore structures, but it is slow and only works for a narrow range of processing conditions; the second method, which is widely used in the aluminium industry, is faster, but it produces films with disordered pore structures. Here we report a novel approach termed "pulse anodization" that combines the advantages of the mild and hard anodization processes. By designing the pulse sequences it is possible to control both the composition and pore structure of the anodic aluminium oxide films while maintaining high throughput. We use pulse anodization to delaminate a single as-prepared anodic film into a stack of well-defined nanoporous alumina membrane sheets, and also to fabricate novel three-dimensional nanostructures.

  1. Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics, Weinberg 2, D-06120 Halle, Germany
  2. Present address: Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science (KRISS), Taejon 305-600, Korea

Correspondence to: Woo Lee1,2 e-mail:


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