, Volume 10, Issue 6, pp 935-945

Aerosol processing for nanomanufacturing

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Abstract

Advances in nanoparticle synthesis are opening new opportunities for a broad variety of technologies that exploit the special properties of matter at the nanoscale. To realize this potential will require the development of new technologies for processing nanoparticles, so as to utilize them in a manufacturing context. Two important classes of such processing technologies include the controlled deposition of nanoparticles onto surfaces, and the application of chemically specific coatings onto individual nanoparticles, so as to either passivate or functionalize their surfaces. This paper provides an overview of three technologies related to these objectives, with an emphasis on aerosol-based methods: first, the deposition of nanoparticles by hypersonic impaction, so as so spray-coat large areas with nanoparticles; second, the use of aerodynamic lenses to produce focused beams of nanoparticles, with beam widths of a few tens of microns, so as to integrate nanoparticle-based structures into microelectromechanical systems; and third, the coating of individual nanoparticles by means of photoinduced chemical vapor deposition (photo-CVD), driven by excimer lamps. We also discuss the combination of these technologies, so that nanoparticle synthesis, together with multiple processing steps, can be accomplished in a single flow stream.