[Under construction]2015 AFOSR MURIA 4D Nanoprinter for Making and Manipulating Macroscopic MaterialsPO: Dr. Jung-Hwa GimmPI: Dr. Chad Mirkin, Northwestern UniversityWebsite: TBD
Progress in fields spanning biology, nanophotonics, chemical sensing, bioengineering, and computing is limited by our inability to rapidly pattern hard and soft materials across large scales with nanometer-scale precision. The goal of this project is to address this deficiency by developing a nanoprinter that is enabled by simultaneous advances in massively parallel cantilever-free scanning probe lithography and novel chemistries that allow orthogonal control over material properties. This nanoprinter will be able to pattern materials in 3D with in situ control over the composition of each nanoscale element, endowing it with control over three spatial dimensions as well as functionality (thus, 4D nanoprinting and the equivalent of a “color” 3D printer). An equally important attribute of this research is that the process of developing this instrument will lead to fundamental discoveries pertaining to orthogonal multistimuli responsive materials and the materials science of systems with both hard and soft components. Due to the interdisciplinary scope of this project, it is ideal for a MURI as no single PI could accomplish the project goals alone. Thus, we propose a multi-pronged initiative that features the close collaboration of five PIs and the synergistic interplay of experimental and modeling research. Specifically, we will study nanoprinting at a fundamental level to learn how to scale up tip-directed synthesis by individually addressing million-tip scanning probe arrays, achieve feature sizes and registration accuracies below 100 nm, and accommodate surfaces that have micron-scale variations in surface topography and significant curvature. Simultaneously, we will explore novel chemistries for performing tip-directed synthesis that introduce materials complexity and generality to the process. Specifically, we will explore the photochemistry of multi-stimuli responsive polymers, the growth of polymers and biological structures on surfaces, the DNA-mediated assembly of nanoparticles on surfaces, the facile incorporation of biological moieties, and the patterning of electrically active structures. This program will have a major impact on the DoD by providing the foundation for a new generation of tools for forming nanoarchitectures over large scales. By accommodating not only the hard materials common in microelectronics, but also biologically relevant soft materials, this research sets the stage for previously impossible studies that transform the scope of nanoscience. Importantly, research experiences for university-trained personnel at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the Army Research Laboratory as well as opportunities for DoD scientists to work collaboratively in the labs of the university researchers will be integrated throughout the program.