Controlled Positioning of Nanoparticles on Graphene by Noninvasive AFM Lithography

E. Bellido, A. Ghirri, I. Ojea, Ch. Alvino, A. Candini, V. Puntes, D. Ruiz-Molina, M. Affronte and N. Domingo

Langmuir, 28 (33), 12400 - 12409, (2012)
DOI: 10.1021/la3023419

Abstract: Atomic force microscopy is shown to be an excellent lithographic technique to directly deposit nanoparticles on graphene by capillary transport without any previous functionalization of neither the nanoparticles nor the graphene surface while preserving its integrity and conductivity properties. Moreover this technique allows for (sub)micrometric control on the positioning thanks to a new three-step protocol that has been designed with this aim. With this methodology the exact target coordinates are registered by scanning the tip over the predetermined area previous to its coating with the ink and deposition. As a proof-of-concept, this strategy has successfully allowed the controlled deposition of few nanoparticles on 1 μm2 preselected sites of a graphene surface with high accuracy.