AbstractThe fabrication of photonic and electronic structures and devices has directed the manufacturing industry for the last 50 years. Currently, the majority of small-scale photonic devices are created by traditional microfabrication techniques that create features by processes such as lithography and electron or ion beam direct writing. Microfabrication techniques are often expensive and slow. In contrast, the use of electrospinning (ES) in the fabrication of micro- and nano-scale devices for the manipulation of photons and electrons provides a relatively simple and economic viable alternative. ES involves the delivery of a polymer solution to a capillary held at a high voltage relative to the fiber deposition surface. Electrostatic force developed between the collection plate and the polymer promotes fiber deposition onto the collection plate. Issues with ES fabrication exist primarily due to an instability region that exists between the capillary and collection plate and is characterized by chaotic motion of the depositing polymer fiber. Material limitations to ES also exist; not all polymers of interest are amenable to the ES process due to process dependencies on molecular weight and chain entanglement or incompatibility with other polymers and overall process compatibility. Passive and active electronic and photonic fibers fabricated through the ES have great potential for use in light generation and collection in optical and electronic structures/devices. ES produces fiber devices that can be combined with inorganic, metallic, biological, or organic materials for novel device design. Synergistic material selection and post-processing techniques are also utilized for broad-ranging applications of organic nanofibers that span from biological to electronic, photovoltaic, or photonic. As the ability to electrospin optically and/or electronically active materials in a controlled manner continues to improve, the complexity and diversity of devices fabricated from this process can be expected to grow rapidly and provide an alternative to traditional resource-intensive fabrication techniques.
Nanophotonics – de Gruyter
Published: Dec 28, 2016
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