Tip-based Nanofabrication method uses a nanoscale tip (normally implemented in an atomic force microscope system)
to interact with the substrate in order to fabricate nanoscale patterns. This method has the advantages of precise-alignment, rapid turn-around time, low-cost and applicable to unconvential substrates.
Cost is one of the key barriers that prevent the wide application of nanotechnology to the real world. We aim to develop low-cost and scalable nanofabrication methods to enable many crucial applications such as antibacterial surfaces and self-cleaning superhydrophobic surfaces. An example is a metal-assisted chemical etching (MacEtch) to produce nanopillars atop micropillars in order to fabricate hierarchical micro/nano structures for superhydrophobic applications.
Bio-inspired antibacterial surface
Through millions and even billions of years of evoluation, Nature has many elegant design and solutions to many issues. Recently the wings of cicadas and dragonflies are found to have the ability of killing bacteria attached due to the nanostructured wing surface. Although the wings look smooth, in electron microscopic view, nanospikes are observed
covering the wing surfaces actively killing bacteria attached. Inspired by the nature, we developed low-cost and scalable
manufacturing methods to fabricate lare-area nanospike surface to be used potentially in surgical tool, implantable devices
and public touch surfaces.