A novel vertical fan-out platform based on an array of curved anodic alumina nanochannels

Chih Yi Liu*, Ming Yu Lai, Kun Tong Tsai, Hsuan Hao Chang, Jr Hau He, Jessie Shiue, Yuh Lin Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Focused ion beam lithography and a two-step anodization have been combined to fabricate a vertical fan-out platform containing an array of unique probes. Each probe comprises three anodic alumina nanochannels with a fan-out arrangement. The lithography is used to pattern an aluminum sheet with a custom-designed array of triangular 'cells' whose apexes are composed of nanoholes. The nanoholes grow into straight nanochannels under proper voltage in the first-step anodization. The second step uses a doubled voltage to induce lateral repulsion among the nanochannels' growth fronts originating in the same cell. Therefore, the fronts fan out. The repulsion roots in the inter-front distance being shorter than the naturally favoured length, which increases with anodization voltage. The fan-out evolution continues until the growth fronts originating in all the cells evolve into a close-packed two-dimensional hexagonal lattice whose spacing is identical to the favoured one. The chemical and physical mechanisms behind the fan-out fabrication are discussed. This novel fan-out platform facilitates probing and handling of many signals from different areas on a sample's surface and is therefore promising for applications in detection and manipulation at the nanoscale level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number055306
Issue number5
StatePublished - Feb 8 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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