Free Standing Nanocrystal Thin Films


Vanderbilt researchers have developed a technique for the rapid, controlled assembly of nanocrystals into multi-layered films. The technique is applicable for a wide variety of nanocrystals. It is anticipated that the technique will find commercial applications over a spectrum of industries such as solid-state lightning, magnetic storage, and catalysis.


  • It would be advantageous to fabricate nancrystal films as independent, isolated structures rather than in the current form of films that are permanently attached to the bulk substrates
  • The current available methods of constructing freestanding nanostructured films suffer from the handicap of being very laborious and unpredictable

Technology Description

The films of nanocrystals have Been proposed for a diverse set of applications. But in order to reach their promised potential, the way in which they are currently assembled needs to be refined. Researchers at Vanderbilt University have developed a versatile approach to the creation of freestanding, macroscopic films comprised exclusively of nanocrystals. Since these films are independent of a supporting substrate and are without an external supportive matrix, many of their properties can be probed directly without the Influence of substrate interactions. The current technique uses a sacrificial polymer layer to create freestanding nanostructured films. All substrate related interferences are thus obviated when using these films


  • The nanocrystal films are entirely self-sustained, allowing for a more accurate probing of mechanical, structural, optical, and magnetic properties.
  • With the use of a sacrificial polymer process, the lateral dimensions of the freestanding films are able to be increased by nearly an order of magnitude - with the largest film sections approaching 1 cm in length
  • This new technique endorses rapid nanocrystal assembly, as well as further manipulation of the film as a freestanding object capable of being isolated or located elsewhere

Intellectual Property Status

U.S. Patent US8529745 B2 has been granted


Licensing Contact

Ashok Choudhury

Tech ID: