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MINT Informe resumido

Project ID: IST-2001-32152
Financiado con arreglo a: FP5-IST
País: Ireland

Nano-templating for electro-deposition

Tessellated RNA was utilised as a templating agent for metallic nano-deposition. A poly (m-aminophenol) polymer was produced using standard electrochemical methodology. The polymer film displayed various properties, most notably, pinhole free, biocompatible and insulating to metal deposition conditions. The polymer film was deemed to be 13.4nm thick, via AFM imaging in accordance with the estimated size of the tessellated RNA. After polymer deposition the RNA was removed by standard techniques and an incomplete polymer layer remained. A series of benign, simple inorganic salt electrochemical baths were developed as to minimise interference with the biological agent. Metals investigated include copper, silver, and palladium. AFM imaging after the removal of the polymer layer showed metal deposits of approximately 100x150nm. The presence of copper was determined using Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy. Copper deposition was achieved using various RNA templates including tessellated and non-tessellated RNA molecules. RNA modified with phosphothioate at each c group was found to be the most time effective templating agent.

Focused Ion Beam Milling and E-Beam arrays were fabricated to investigate metal deposition in nanometre dimensions. The two approaches were compared using AFM imaging and whilst the e-beam arrays revealed a smoother substrate surface both methods were deemed acceptable. The optimised poly (m-aminophenol) film was used in investigations using FIB milling and commonly used resists for the fabrication of e-beam arrays. Standard electrochemical sweep methods were employed to obtain the optimum conditions for metal deposition for each electrochemical bath tested. These optimised conditions lead to a well-controlled plating process from simple inorganic, benign, pH neutral plating baths and the subsequent copper, silver, and palladium deposits were imaged using AFM. Overall a process has been determined and optimised for the nano-electro deposition of metals on areas of a gold substrate that have been templated using tessellated RNA, from plating solutions compatible with the chosen polymer layer.

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Vincent CUNNANE, (Vice President Research)
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