Template-stripped PZT Thin Films as Substrates for Charge Assisted Assembly of Biological and Organic Molecules
Thursday, November 12, 2009, 6:00 pm, Room Hall 3
Ferroelectric thin films, such as Lead zirconium titanate (PZT) have attracted a great deal of interest in recent years due to their piezoelectric and ferroelectric properties. The applications for these films are typically in microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and ferroelectric non-volatile random access memories. Recently a technique called ferroelectric lithography (FL) has been developed, which can be used to make charged features on surfaces of ferroelectric materials. FL is used to create polarization patterns by applying a voltage to the surface of a ferroelectric material (such as PZT) via an atomic force microscopy (AFM). To achieve this, a DC voltage is applied between the tip and a Pt electrode on the bottom of the PZT to achieve features ranging from 100s of nanometers to several microns. The characterization of the polarization features is done using scanning Kelvin probe microscopy (SKPM). This technique can confirm the presence of an out-of-plane polarization component due to the reorientation of the ferroelectric domains in the PZT. The polarized domains can then be used to direct the assembly of charged entities. To date only inorganic species and gas phase organic molecules has been reported. Here we show the assembly of biological and organic molecules from the liquid phase.
To fabricate these structures an improved method of fabricating PZT thin films with a low roughness is presented. Sol-gel deposition is a relatively cheap and easy method of preparing thin films of PZT. However, films produced in this way can exhibit very high roughness which can make them incompatible with studies involving AFM. We use a template-stripping method to produce extremely flat PZT surfaces. These flat surfaces used in-conjunction with the FL (as described above), can be used to study the directed assembly of charged species on the surface of the PZT using standard AFM techniques. To demonstrate this, the directed assembly of polyelectrolyte layers and proteins on the surface of the PZT is shown.