Guiding Self-Assembly with the Tip of an Atomic Force Microscope



We report the guided self-assembly of nanoparticles to geometrically well-defined charge patterns written on a dielectric surface with the conductive tip of an atomic force microscope (AFM). Charges are deposited in 30-90-nm thick fluorocarbon layers by applying voltage pulses to the conductive AFM tip. The samples are being developed by dipping them into an organic suspension of silica nanoparticles. Coulomb forces draw the nanoparticles to the charge patterns. With this simple process, we achieve a resolution of about 800 nm.