Laser applications in nanotechnology: nanofabrication using laser ablation and laser nanolithography
G.N. Makarov Institute of Spectroscopy, Russian Academy of Sciences, ul. Fizicheskaya 5, Troitsk, Moscow, 108840, Russian Federation
The fact that nanoparticles and nanomaterials have fundamentally different properties both from their component atoms or molecules and from their bulk counterparts has stimulated a huge interest, both theoretical and practical, in nanoparticles and nanoparticle-based assemblies (functional materials), with the result that these structures have become a subject of explosive research over the last twenty years or so. A great deal of progress in this field has relied on the use of lasers. In this paper, the directions followed and results obtained in laser nanotechnology research are reviewed. The parameters, properties and applications of nanoparticles are discussed along with the physical and chemical methods for their fabrication and investigation. Nanofabrication applications of and fundamental physical principles behind laser ablation and laser nanolithography are discusses in detail. The applications of laser radiation are shown to range from fabricating, melting and evaporating nanoparticles, to changing their shape, structure, size and size distribution, to studying their dynamics and forming them into periodic arrays and various structures and assemblies. The historical development of research on nanoparticles and nanomaterials and the application of laser nanotechnology in various fields are briefly reviewed.