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Graphene sheet aids nano device construction

Scientists from UCLA’s California NanoSystems Institute have created a graphene sheet with minuscule holes that provides an effective way to place molecules in specific patterns.

Led by Professor Paul Weiss, the researchers placed the sheet on a gold substrate, allowing molecules to attach to the gold exactly where the scientists wanted them, in the process creating patterns that control the physical shape and electronic properties of nano devices.

“We wanted to develop a mask to place molecules only where we wanted them on a stencil on the underlying gold substrate,” Prof Weiss said. “We knew how to attach molecules to gold as a first step toward making the patterns we need for the electronic function of nanodevices. But the new step here was preventing the patterning on the gold in places where the graphene was. The exact placement of molecules enables us to determine exact patterning, which is key to our goal of building nanoelectronic devices like biosensors.”

The advance is believed to make the creation of nanoelectronic and nanobioelectronic devices -- including biosensors – more efficient than current methods of molecular patterning, which use nanolithography.

Graham Pitcher

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