Fabrication of complex metallic nanostructures by nanoskiving

Qiaobing Xu, Robert M. Rioux, George M. Whitesides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (SciVal)


This paper describes the use of nanoskiving to fabricate complex metallic nanostructures by sectioning polymer slabs containing small, embedded metal structures. This method begins with the deposition of thin metallic films on an epoxy substrate by e-beam evaporation or sputtering. After embedding the thin metallic film in an epoxy matrix, sectioning (in a plane perpendicular or parallel to the metal film) with an ultramicrotome generates sections (which can be as thin as 50 nm) of epoxy containing metallic nanostructures. The cross-sectional dimensions of the metal wires embedded in the resulting thin epoxy sections are controlled by the thickness of the evaporated metal film (which can be as small as 20 nm) and the thickness of the sections cut by the ultramicrotome; this work uses a standard 45° diamond knife and routinely generates slabs 50 nm thick. The embedded nanostructures can be transferred to, and positioned on, planar or curved substrates by manipulating the thin polymer film. Removal of the epoxy matrix by etching with an oxygen plasma generates free-standing metallic nanostructures. Nanoskiving can fabricate complex nanostructures that are difficult or impossible to achieve by other methods of nanofabrication. These include multilayer structures, structures on curved surfaces, structures that span gaps, structures in less familiar materials, structures with high aspect ratios, and large-area structures comprising two-dimensional periodic arrays. This paper illustrates one class of application of these nanostructures: frequency-selective surfaces at mid-IR wavelengths.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-227
Number of pages13
JournalACS nano
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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