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"Electroplating at the Nanoscale"


Hello. My question is in a little different direction than the others you answered. Usually the question is making the thickness as large as possible. I'm interested in a very thin plating.
In my application I want to create a very thin wire, less than 100 nanometers wide, a few tens of nanometers would be the ideal, though centimeters long.
I want it to a conducting wire copper, aluminum, nickel, all would be satisfactory. But I also want it to be something easily accomplished by an amateur and his budget, that is not in a big industrial or university site.
Also for my application I want the wire to be approximately equally wide as thick. It doesn't have to be cylindrical, rectangular would suffice.
Ideally, it would be nice if I could peel the plating off just to have the thin wire of these cross-wise dimensions but it might work for my application to leave it on the non-conducting substrate.

Thank You,

Robert Clark
Widener University - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

First of three simultaneous responses -- 2005

Specifically, I want a thin metal wire 10 to 50 nanometers wide, 5 to 20 centimeters long.

Bob C.

Robert Clark
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

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Second of three simultaneous responses -- 2005

Fortunes and years have been spent by professionals to accomplish what you want.

You want it to be something readily done by an amateur?

Ain't gonna happen.

jeffrey holmes
Jeffrey Holmes, CEF
Spartanburg, South Carolina

Third of three simultaneous responses -- 2005

Dear Robert

To get a coating in the scale of 100 nanometer or smaller is probably possible. The problem with your request is the width of the wire. You would need to use lithographic processes as in chip industries, which are actually working with resolutions of 90 nm in production. This means high investments and an absolutely perfect process control.

Marcus Hahn
- Lucerne, Switzerland


Why do you want 5-20cm long wire that is only 10-50 nm wide? Although it is long enough, its width is so small you won't see it with the naked eye. It is less than 1 thousandth the width of a human hair! Even if you could make it, how will you handle it? The naontechnology industry has spent billions of dollars/ pounds/ Euros on developing extremely intricate handling systems and I don't think they have yet got to these dimensions. I know the industry has developed techniques where they can manipulate individual atoms, but this is not commercially viable and to make something 5 cms long will take one hell of a lot of atoms! However, in theory, you can get what you want by using LIGA -type technologies such as X-ray imaging, or better still, teraherz imaging. The only problem is getting an imageable material and focusing the beam to the dimensions you require. I think you will need to talk with a couple of established nanotechnology companies and see what technologies they have got available.

trevor crichton
Trevor Crichton
R&D practical scientist
Chesham, Bucks, UK

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