Automated spin-assisted layer-by-layer assembly of nanocomposites

Vozar, Steven; Poh, Yeh-Chuin; Serbowicz, Thomas; Bachner, Matthew; Podsiadlo, Paul; Qin, Ming; Verploegen, Eric; Kotov, Nicholas; Hart, A. John
February 2009
Review of Scientific Instruments;Feb2009, Vol. 80 Issue 2, pN.PAG
Academic Journal
We present the design and verification of a desktop system for the automated production of nanostructured thin films via spin-assisted layer-by-layer (spin-LBL) assembly. The utility of this system is demonstrated by fabricating polyvinyl alcohol/clay nanocomposites. Ellipsometry measurements demonstrate that the automated spin-LBL method creates composites with bilayer thickness and growth rate comparable to traditional dip-LBL; however, the cycle time of the spin-LBL method is an order of magnitude faster. Small angle X-ray scattering analysis shows that the clay platelets in spin-LBL nanocomposites are more highly aligned than in dip-LBL composites. This method can significantly increase the throughput of laboratory-scale LBL discovery and processing, can enable testing of functional properties of LBL nanocomposites over wafer-scale areas, and can be scaled to larger substrates for commercial production.


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