A Korean research team has successfully developed a method to replicate a nanostructure on the surface of different types of materials including paper, plastic, glass, metal, or cloth. Therefore, the technique is expected to change the appearance of rectangular-shaped displays and electronic devices.
A research team led by Dr. Lee Seok-jae from the National NanoFab Center announced on August 18 that they developed a technique to copy a nanostructure onto the surface of many different materials using a silicon substrate.
Nanostructures cannot be seen with the naked eye, but they can do a lot. For example, they can scatter light or accelerate chemical reactions. Hence, they have been studied in many different fields. However, it has been difficult to attach them to other materials because of the characteristics of the surfaces between the material that forms the nanostructure and the possible substrate.
However, the research team was able to overcome this limit by making a silicon mold with the nanostructure and spreading a layer of high polymers that can react to ultraviolet rays. They succeeded in making a nanostructure on the surface of various substrates by attaching a variety of materials, including paper, film, glass, metal, and cloth to the top of these high polymers, and examining it under ultraviolet rays.
Since a nanostructure can be attached to the surface of any material, it is expected to be usable in next-gen displays, wearable devices, and biosensors.
Dr. Lee explained, “If the results of this study are commercialized, it will be possible to develop transparent and flexible displays by attaching nano elements to films. Wearable biosensors for clinical diagnosis will also be feasible with the attachment of nano sensors to clothing.” He added, “So, I think that the method is likely to overcome the limits of existing electronic and biomedical devices.”
The research findings were first published online on August 6 by Advanced Materials, a weekly scientific journal covering materials science.