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Drying nano particles solution on an oscillating tip at an air liquid interface: what we can learn, what we can do

Charlotte Bernard1, Jean-Pierre Aimé1*, Sophie Marsaudon1, Raphaël Levy2, Anne Marie Bonnot3, Cattien Nguyen4, Denis Mariolle5, François Bertin5 and Amal Chabli5

Author Affiliations

1 Université Bordeaux-1, CPMOH 351 cours de la Libération, Talence cedex, 33405, France

2 Center for Nanoscale Science, Bioscience Building and Department of Chemistry, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, l69 7zb, UK

3 Institut Néel, CNRS, BP 166, Grenoble Cedex 9, 38042, France

4 ELORET Corporation/NASA Ames Research Center, MS 229-1 Moffett Field, Mountain View, CA, 94035-1000, USA

5 CEA-LETI, MINATEC, 17 rue des Martyrs, Grenoble Cedex 9, 38054, France

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2007, 2:309-318  doi:10.1007/s11671-007-9065-5

Published: 15 June 2007


Evaporation of fluid at micro and nanometer scale may be used to self-assemble nanometre-sized particles in suspension. Evaporating process can be used to gently control flow in micro and nanofluidics, thus providing a potential mean to design a fine pattern onto a surface or to functionalize a nanoprobe tip. In this paper, we present an original experimental approach to explore this open and rather virgin domain. We use an oscillating tip at an air liquid interface with a controlled dipping depth of the tip within the range of the micrometer. Also, very small dipping depths of a few ten nanometers were achieved with multi walls carbon nanotubes glued at the tip apex. The liquid is an aqueous solution of functionalized nanoparticles diluted in water. Evaporation of water is the driving force determining the arrangement of nanoparticles on the tip. The results show various nanoparticles deposition patterns, from which the deposits can be classified in two categories. The type of deposit is shown to be strongly dependent on whether or not the triple line is pinned and of the peptide coating of the gold nanoparticle. In order to assess the classification, companion dynamical studies of nanomeniscus and related dissipation processes involved with thinning effects are presented.

Nanofluidics; Nanoparticles; Micromeniscus; Nanomeniscus; Dynamical mode of atomic force microcopy