Home Applications Research Researchers at TU Wien Create 3D Nano-Structures Made of Pure Gold

Researchers at TU Wien Create 3D Nano-Structures Made of Pure Gold

Scientists at the Technical University of Vienna have developed a process to create 3D nano-structures made of nearly pure gold.

The additive direct-write lithography technique uses an electron beam to turn an auriferous organic compound into 3D nano-structures of pure gold. These custom-made structures could find use for applications in electronics and sensor technology, such as biosensors and electrical contacts, as Professor Heinz Wanzenböck from TU Wien comments: “Gold is not only a noble metal of exceptional beauty, but also a highly desired material for functional nanostructures.”

An auriferous organic compound (from left), water (from right), and an electron beam (from top). Image: TU Wien
An auriferous organic compound (from left), water (from right), and an electron beam (from top). Image: TU Wien

The fabrication of three dimensional nano-structures made of pure gold has been a bottleneck for researchers for a long time. The new technology developed by TU scientists has solved this problem. The principle is the local decomposition of a metalorganic precursor by a focused electron beam of an electron microscope. This technology works at very high level of precision.

“The whole community has been working hard for the last 10 years to directly deposit pure gold nanostructures”, said Heinz Wanzenböck. “It’s a bit like discovering the legendary philosopher’s stone that turns common, ignoble material into gold.”

The produces structure show extremely low resistivity near that of bulk gold.

The authors of the paper Dr. Mostafa Moonir Shawrav and Dipl.Ing. 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 immobilization which will change our everyday life”.

The study titled “Highly conductive and pure gold nanostructures grown by electron beam induced deposition” was published in Scientific Reports.