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Ion Track Technology, Ion-beam shapping

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Involved people : Emmanuel Balanzat, Brigitte Ban d’Etat, Abdenacer Benyagoub, Clara Grygiel, Henning Lebius, Isabelle Monnet, Fabrice Gourbilleau (NIMPH), Julien Cardin (NIMPH), Christian Dufour (NIMPH)

For many decades ion tracks have been used essentially for making filters. More recently this field has been revolutionized by the use of latent or etched tracks in a wide variety of fields. This became possible by using grafting and chemical functionalization and by using etched tracks as templates or growing nanowires or nanotubes. All these developments exploit the unique characteristics of ions tracks that are a huge aspect ratio (length over diameter), the full control of the track density (going from a single pore to densities up to 1010 cm2) and the free choice of the track orientation in the films.

CIMAP and MADIR group have developed a long standing collaboration with two French groups, leaders in these fields : Laboratoire des Solides Irradiés (LSI), Palaiseau, (M-C. Clochard, G. Rizza and coworkers) and Institut Europeen des Membranes (IRM), Montpellier (S. Balme and coworkers).


LSI carried out grafting of styrene into the latent tracks of poly(vinyl di-fluoride) PVDF. This gives an interesting nanocomposite material that can be sulfonated for giving sulfonated polystyrene (PSSA) nano-channels domains within PVDF. This is a way of producing low-cost and highly proton conductive membranes for fuel cell applications. LSI developed functionalized membrane electrodes (FMEs) that are made from track-etched, poly(acrylic acid) functionalized nanoporous PVDF membranes with thin porous Au films sputtered on each side as electrodes. These membranes are excellent sensors of metallic ions in water. They act as a sponge to pre-concentrate the ions prior to an Anodic Stripping Voltammetry analysis.

Nanorods of Ag elongated by irradiation. Collaboration with G. Rizza of LSI.

LSI have produced metallic nanowires of different shapes (cylindrical, biconical) and obtained interesting magneto-transport properties. IEM have focused their research in the synthesis of high aspect ratio biomimetic nanopores that can be fully artificial or hybrid biological/artificial. They developed the Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) technique for reducing the diameter of the nanopores and for allowing functionalization of the inner surface. These nanopores are very promising for DNA sequencing applications, where the high DNA translocation velocity and the fragility of the support are the main bottlenecks. Having high aspect ratio single pores appears essential for increasing the dwell time.

The collaboration with G. Rizza on the description of the ion-beam shaping mechanism of gold (or Ag@Au core/shell, or hollow nanoparticules) nanoparticules in silica matrix has continued, the plasmon was observed through EELS mesurment, in collaboration with the NIMPH group.