A Korean research team has successfully developed a technology to join nanowires, which is the most important factor in commercializing nanoscale devices. This ultrasonic method is expected to be used in precision sensors, including biosensors.
The Korea Institute of Machinery & Materials (KIMM) announced on June 11 that its research team headed by Dr. Lee Ji-hye succeeded in developing an ultrasonic method to join nanowires for the mass-production of nanoscale devices and nanostructure electrodes.
The research team used the idea of joining semiconductor chips by soldering them to circuit boards, thus developing a process in which a large amount of nanowires are moved to substrates at once and joined afterwards. The technology can join nanowires to substrates in a highly strong and economical manner in accordance with materials or characteristics through an optimal production process.
The joining process involves using heat or adhesives to nanowire structures, and joining them to substrates after they are moved there in a vertical way. They can be used in gas sensors needed for microscopic detection, or ultraviolet ray sensors.
The research team was able to establish different bases to select the most optical process from thermocompression-based, adhesive-based, and ultrasonic wave-based joining processes according to characteristics of nanowires and substrates. In particular, using nanomechanics technology, which is KIMM's strength, the team was able to build a system that analyzes the mechanical and electrical nature of nano-scale connections, realizing the optimized joining process.
Dr. Lee said, “Innovative nanomaterials have continued to be developed, but it is hard to find commercialized ones with nanoscale devices. It is mainly attributable to the fact that a technology has yet to be developed that can send and join nanoscale devices to substrates.” Lee added, “I think that the newly-developed technology will greatly contribute to bringing the commercialization of nanoscale devices closer.”
The research team is going to continue their study so that they can use the technology to make precision sensors like gas detection sensors or biosensors, and make high-function secondary cells in which nanostructure electrodes are used in portable electronic devices. They will also try to apply the technology to a water decomposition system for getting hydrogen energy.
The research findings were first published online by Small, an international journal for nano and micro science and technology, published by WILEY-VCH.