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A novel design strategy for nanoparticles on nanopatterns: interferometric lithographic patterning of Mms6 biotemplated magnetic nanoparticles

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Osama El-ZubirORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Nanotechnology demands the synthesis of highly precise, functional materials, tailored for specific applications. One such example is bit patterned media. These high-density magnetic data-storage materials require specific and uniform magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) to be patterned over large areas (cm(2) range) in exact nanoscale arrays. However, the realisation of such materials for nanotechnology applications depends upon reproducible fabrication methods that are both precise and environmentally-friendly, for cost-effective scale-up. A potentially ideal biological fabrication methodology is biomineralisation. This is the formation of inorganic minerals within organisms, and is known to be highly controlled down to the nanoscale whilst being carried out under ambient conditions. The magnetotactic bacterium Magnetospirillum magneticum AMB-1 uses a suite of dedicated biomineralisation proteins to control the formation of magnetite MNPs within their cell. One of these proteins, Mms6, has been shown to control formation of magnetite MNPs in vitro. We have previously used Mms6 on micro-contact printed (mu CP) patterned self-assembled monolayer (SAM) surfaces to control the formation and location of MNPs in microscale arrays, offering a bioinspired and green-route to fabrication. However, mCP cannot produce patterns reliably with nanoscale dimensions, and most alternative nanofabrication techniques are slow and expensive. Interferometric lithography (IL) uses the interference of laser light to produce nanostructures over large areas via a simple process implemented under ambient conditions. Here we combine the bottom-up biomediated approach with a top down IL methodology to produce arrays of uniform magnetite MNPs (86 +/- 21 nm) with a period of 357 nm. This shows a potentially revolutionary strategy for the production of magnetic arrays with nanoscale precision in a process with low environmental impact, which could be scaled readily to facilitate large-scale production of nanopatterned surface materials for technological applications.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bird SM, El-Zubir O, Rawlings AE, Leggett GJ, Staniland SS

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journals of Materials Chemistry C

Year: 2016

Volume: 4

Issue: 18

Pages: 3948-3955

Print publication date: 14/05/2016

Online publication date: 22/12/2015

Acceptance date: 21/12/2015

Date deposited: 26/07/2016

ISSN (print): 2050-7526

ISSN (electronic): 2050-7534

Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry


DOI: 10.1039/c5tc03895b


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