3D nanostructures made of pure gold

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A way to fabricate pure gold nanostructures has been unveiled by researchers from TU Wien (Vienna) using an additive direct-write lithography technique. According to the team, patterned gold nanostructures could play a key role in next generation electronic and sensor devices.

Scientists Mostafa Moonie Shawrav and Philipp Taus stated: “This highly conductive and pure gold structure will open a new door for novel nanoelectronic devices. For example, it will be easier to produce pure gold structures for nanoantennas and biomolecule immobilisation which will change our everyday life."

Yet the fabrication of pure gold nanostructures on non-planar surfaces as well as of three dimensional gold nanostructures has been a challenge.

The new technology can supposedly solve this problem by using an electron microscope to decompose an auriferous organic compound at exactly the right position, leaving behind a 3D-trail of solid gold.

This process typically yields metals with high carbon contaminations and the team had to work on improving material purity.

While conventional gold deposition usually contains about 70% carbon and 30% gold, the new approach is said to fabricate pure gold structures by in-situ addition of an oxidising agent during the gold deposition. This deposited pure gold structure exhibits low resistivity near that of bulk gold.

With pure gold direct deposition available, nanodevices could be deposited directly and used in many different applications, including nanoplasmonics and bioelectronics devices.