The rapid development of a variety of molecular contrast agents makes the multimodality bioimaging highly attractive towards higher resolution, more sensitive, informative diagnosis. The key lies in the development of facile material synthesis that allows the integration of multiple contrast agents, ideally in a way that each of the components should be logically assembled to maximize their performances. Here, we report the one-pot programmable growth of multifunctional heterogeneous nanocrystal with tunable size, shape, composition, and properties. We demonstrated a facile one-pot hot-injection method to enable the highly selectively controlled growth of different sodium lanthanide fluoride nanomaterials in either longitudinal or transversal directions with atomic scale precision. This technique allows the upconversion luminescence signal, MRI signal and x-ray signal logically integrated and optimized within one single versatile nanoplatform for multimode bioimaging. These findings suggest that the facile strategy developed here have the promising to get the desired heterogeneous nanocrystals as an all-in-one contrast agent for integrated and self-correlative multimodal bioimaging.
Atomic layer deposition (ALD) is an important technology for depositing functional coatings on accessible, reactive surfaces with precise control of thickness and nanostructure. Unlike conventional chemical vapour deposition, where growth rate is dependent on reactant flux, ALD employs sequential surface chemical reactions to saturate a surface with a (sub-) monolayer of reactive compounds such as metal alkoxides or covalent halides, followed by reaction with a second compound such as water to deposit coatings layer-by-layer. A judicious choice of reactants and processing conditions ensures that the reactions are self-limiting, resulting in controlled film growth with excellent conformality to the substrate.
This paper investigates the deposition and characterisation of multi-layer TiO2 /Al2O3 films on a range of substrates, including silicon <100>, soda glass and polycarbonate, using titanium tetrachloride/water and trimethylaluminium/water as precursor couples. Structure-property correlations were established using a suite of analytical tools, including transmission electron microscopy (TEM), secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), X-ray reflectometry (XRR) and spectroscopic ellipsometry (SE). The evolution of nanostructure and composition of multi-layer high/low refractive index stacks are discussed as a function of deposition parameters.
Atomic layer deposition (ALD) is a versatile technique for producing a wide variety of thin films. It provides a method for precisely controlling film thickness and composition. In addition films produced by ALD are highly conformal and are therefore excellent for the generation of MEMS devices. In the present study, single and multi layer films of TiO2 and Al2O3 have been deposited on silicon substrates at 200 and 300°C. These films have been characterised by a number of surface analytical techniques including dynamic secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), ion beam analysis, electron microscopy and spectroscopic ellipsometry. These methods have enabled the optical, chemical and structural properties of the films to be accurately assessed. The results obtained to date demonstrate that ALD produces highly uniform single and multi layer films with minimal impurities. These high quality films are being applied to new opportunities for the development of future MEMS devices.
The essential features of the ALD process involve sequentially saturating a surface with a (sub)monolayer of reactive species, such as a metal halide, then reacting it with a second species to form the required phase in-situ. Repetition of the reaction sequence allows the desired thickness to be deposited. The self-limiting nature of the reactions ensures excellent conformality, and sequential processing results in exquisite control over film thickness, albeit at rather slow deposition rates, typically <200nm/hr. We have been developing our capability with ALD deposition, to understand the influence of deposition parameters on the nature of TiO2 and Al2O3 films (high and low refractive index respectively), and multilayer stacks thereof. These stacks have potential applications as anti-reflection coatings and optical filters. This paper will explore the evolution of structure in our films as a function of deposition parameters including temperature and substrate surface chemistry. A broad range of techniques have been applied to the study of these films, including cross sectional transmission electron microscopy, spectroscopic ellipsometry, secondary ion mass spectrometry etc. These have enabled a wealth of microstructural and compositional information on the films to be acquired, such as accurate film thickness, composition, crystallization sequence and orientation with respect to the substrate. The ALD method is shown to produce single layer films and multilayer stacks with exceptional uniformity and flatness, and in the case of stacks, chemically abrupt interfaces. We are currently extending this technology to the coating of polymeric substrates.