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Nanoscience at the Center for Functional Nanomaterials, a National Scientific User Facility

Date and Time: Thursday, February 07, 2019, 12:00pm -
Location: Chem 260

Speaker: Charles Black (Center for Functional Nanomaterials Brookhaven National Laboratory)

The Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN) is a national scientific user facility operated at Brookhaven National Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy. One of five DOE Nanoscale Science Research Centers, the CFN offers external Users a supported research experience with top-caliber scientists and access to state-of-the-art instrumentation at no cost via a peer- reviewed proposal process. The CFN mission is advancing nanoscience to impact society, by being an essential resource for the nanoscience community and producing breakthroughs in nanomaterials research.

After an overview of the scientific facilities, research directions, and the process of becoming a CFN user, I will describe CFN research using block copolymer self-assembly for design of nanostructured materials. Block copolymer thin films provide a robust method for generating regular, uniform patterns at length scales in the range of ten nanometers, over arbitrarily large areas. A significant advantage of block copolymer-based patterning is its ease of integration with other aspects of traditional thin-film processing, including plasma-based etching and metallization.

The CFN has been using block copolymer lithography to design the electronic and optical properties of nanostructured, thin-film materials. For example, I will describe our recent use of this approach to engineer broadband omnidirectional antireflection for solar devices. CFN scientists work with users to design surface textures for water and fog-repellency, and able to resist water droplet impacts in excess of 10 meters per second. Time permitting, I will show some recent progress creating nanostructured plasmonic substrates for high-sensitivity detection of molecules, which we have been using for identification of trace explosives.

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