Free Standing Nanocrystal Thin Films


Vanderbilt researchers have developed a technique for the rapid, controlled assembly of nanocrystals into multi-layered films. The technique is applicable for a wide variety of nanocrystals. It is anticipated that the technique will find commercial applications over a spectrum of industries such as solid-state lightning, magnetic storage, and catalysis.


• It would be advantageous to fabricate nancrystal films as independent, isolated structures rather than in the current form of films that are permanently attached to the bulk substrates

• The current available methods of contructing freestanding nanostructured films suffer from the handicap of being very laborious and unpredictable

Technology Description

The films of nanocrystals have een proposed for a diverse set of applications. But in order to reach their promised potential, the way in which they are currently assembled needs to be refined. Researchers at Vanderbilt University have developed a versatile approach to the creation of freestanding, macroscopic films comprised exclusively of nanocrystals. Since these films are independant of a supporting substrate and are without an external supportive matrix, many of their properties can be probed directly without the nfluence of substrate interactions. The current technique uses a sacreficial polymer layer to create freestanding nanostructured films. All substrate related interferences are thus obviated when using these films


• The nanocrystal films are entirely self-sustained, allowing for a more accurate probing of mechanical, structural, optical, and magnetic properties.

• With the use of a sacrificial polymer process, the lateral dimensions of the freestanding films are able to be increased by nearly an order of magniture - with the largest film sections approacting 1 cm in length

• This new technique endorses rapid nanocrystal assembly, as well as further manipulation of the film as a freestanding object capable of being isolated or located elsewhere

Intellectual Property Status

U.S. Patent US8529745 B2 has been granted


Saad HasanJames Dickerson
Licensing manager: 
Ashok Choudhury

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