Nanotechnology is an emerging branch of engineering that is devoted to the design, production, and use of structures and devices with one or more dimensions of approximately 100 nanometers or less. It is possible to fabricate a range of innovative nanoscale coatings by using Langmuir-Blodgett, Langmuir-Schaefer and Dip coating technologies.
Langmuir-Blodgett and Langmuir-Schaefer technologies are used to deposit oriented insoluble molecular layers on a solid substrate. These technologies are also suitable for depositing various nanoparticle layers, such as nanowire, nanorod layers, and graphene films. End-applications for the coatings vary from biochemical sensor array formation to creating anti-microbial and -reflective coatings, electro-optical devices and environmentally responsive coatings.
Langmuir-Blodgett and Langmuir-Schaefer depositions are effective methods for the manufacture of single-molecule layers. Alternate dipping expands this further, allowing simultaneous deposition of two different components and also gives control over molecular orientation in the forming layer.
Main benefits of the Langmuir-Blodgett technology
- Precise control of the monolayer (thin film) thickness and packing density
- Homogeneous deposition over large areas
- Enables multilayer structures with varying layer composition
- Deposition can be made on any kind of solid substrate
Anti-microbial coating is an example of a smart coating that uses silver nanoparticles. Silver nanoparticles are known for their anti-microbial properties and can be incorporated in many types of surface layers and coatings.
Dip coating can be applied to a large variety of materials from the inorganic sols and inorganic nanoparticles to self-assembling biochemical systems. Applications include deposition electrical- and electro-optical layers, anti-reflective coatings, creating super hydrophobic surfaces and depositing biologically compatible coatings. Dipping speed, temperature and drying times have a great effect on layer properties. Multi-vessel dipping can be used to fabricate complex self-assembled systems with large sequences with improved reproducibility.
Dip coating of inorganic sols (or sol-gel synthesis) is also a way of creating nanoscale inorganic or polymeric coatings. In sol-gel synthesis, the deposition speed is a highly important parameter that affects, for example, layer thickness, density and porosity.
For more information, see:
- Application Note 3 — Deposition and Characterization of Single-Sheet Graphene and Graphene Oxide Films
- Application Note 10 – Nanostrand Formation of Block Copolymers at the Air/Water Interface