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Title: Controlled nanopatterning of a polymerized ionic liquid in a strong electric field

Nanolithography has become a driving force in advancements of the modern day's electronics, allowing for miniaturization of devices and a steady increase of the calculation, power, and storage densities. Among various nanofabrication approaches, scanning probe techniques, including atomic force microscopy (AFM), are versatile tools for creating nanoscale patterns utilizing a range of physical stimuli such as force, heat, or electric field confined to the nanoscale. In this study, the potential of using the electric field localized at the apex of an AFM tip to induce and control changes in the mechanical properties of an ion containing polymer—a polymerized ionic liquid (PolyIL)—on a very localized scale is explored. In particular, it is demonstrated that by means of AFM, one can form topographical features on the surface of PolyIL-based thin films with a significantly lower electric potential and power consumption as compared to nonconductive polymer materials. Lastly,, by tuning the applied voltage and ambient air humidity, control over dimensions of the formed structures is reproducibly achieved.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [4] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [5]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  2. Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States)
  3. Hochschule Niederrhein Univ. of Applied Sciences, Krefeld (Germany)
  4. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States)
  5. Univ. College Dublin Belfield, Dublin (Ireland)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Advanced Functional Materials
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 25; Journal Issue: 5; Journal ID: ISSN 1616-301X
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; polymerized ionic liquids; nanofabrication; polymer softening; scanning probe microscopy; ionic transport