Argonne National Laboratory Center for Nanoscale Materials U.S. Department of Energy

High density, high-aspect-ratio precision polyimide nanofilters

Polyimide Nanofilter

SEM of a polyimide film with holes ~250 nm in diameter and ~10 µm deep. The cross-sectional cut of the channels in the front are made visible by focused ion-beam milling.

Collaborative users from Creatv MicroTech, Inc. and Los Alamos National Laboratory, working with CNM's Nanofabrication & Devices Group, have demonstrated a novel fabrication process that produces high-porosity polymer nanofilters with smooth, uniform. and straight pores and high aspect ratios. Nanofilters have a wide range of applications for various size-exclusion-based separations in bioseparation and nanomedicine, such as laboratory assays, removing bacteria and viruses, drug delivery devices, implants, and sieving of nanoscale materials. The process uses electron-beam lithography and energetic neutral atom beam lithography and epitaxy (ENABLE) techniques. This approach allows for the fabrication of ordered hole arrays of a predetermined size and shape with high density. The method has the potential to produce a new generation of high-precision, high-porosity, bio-compatible filters with pore sizes down to 100 nm.

O.V. Makarova, C-M. Tang, P. Amstutz, R. Divan, A. Imre, D.C. Mancini, M. Hoffbauer, and T. Williamson, J. Vac. Sci. Technol. B, 27, 2585-2587 (2009)

December 2009

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