Ion Track Technology


Reimar Spohr

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Ion Tracks for Micro- and Nanofabrication: From Single Channels to Superhydrophobic Surfaces; Reimar Spohr; Thesis; Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis 2010

A method is described for preset-count irradiations between 1 and 100 ions singling-out individual ions from an ion beam with more than a billion ions arriving per second. The ion tracks are etched in a conductometric system with real-time evaluation of the acquired data. The etch process can be interrupted when reaching a preset channel diameter. Cylindrical channels are obtained by adding surfactants to the etch solution forming a self-assembled barrier between etching medium and polymer. Asymmetric etching of single ion tracks leads to pH sensitive conical pores with diode-like properties. Using etched channels as template, homogeneous and multilayer magnetic single-wires are electrodeposited. The magnetoresistivity of the wires is studied. Single-track applications comprise critical apertures (cylindric, conic, necked), asymmetric pores (pH sensitive, biospecific), Giant Magneto Resistance sensors, and spintronic devices.

On the basis of studies with individual ion tracks we tackled tilted multiporous systems such as ion beam lithography with a masked ion beam leading to micro-structures with inclined walls and anisotropic superhydrophobic ion track textures, analogous to biological shingle structures on butterfly wings. We demonstrated qualitatively, that the asymmetry of the texture translates into motion under ultrasonic agitation. This could lead to the development of rotary drives.

Keywords: Ion track, single ion, real time, phase detection, conductometric cell, conductometry, electro replication, microtechnology, nanotechnology, surfactant, self organization, GMR, magnetic, sensor technology, hydrophobic, tilted texture.