Title: Large-area Freestanding Gold Nanomembranes

Peipei Jia

Shenzhen Topmembrane Technology Co., Ltd, China


Dr. Peipei Jia graduated from Shandong University with BSc degree and Zhejiang University with MSc degree, both in Biomedical Engineering. Holding a scholarship from China Scholarship Council, he continued his research at University of Western Ontario from 2010 and obtained his PhD of BME in 2014. He has lots of experience in clean room environment and a variety of fabrication techniques. During his work in CNBP, he was engaged in plasmonic optical sensor engineering towards biosensing, and developed a template transfer method for metal nanostructure patterning. Now he is working in Shenzhen Topmembrane Technology Co., Ltd. China.


Nanomembranes (NMs) are functional materials with nanoscale thicknesses and macroscopic lateral dimensions. They possess many unique electronic, mechanical and optical properties, not found in zero- and one-dimensional materials. Thin metal films with nanohole arrays have opened up new opportunities in applications ranging from plasmonics to optoelectronics. In general, it is desirable to have high quality factor plasmonic resonances and enhanced near-fields for strong light-matter interactions for these devices. However, because holey metal films are usually fabricated on planar substrates, their transmission efficiency suffers from the different dielectric environment on either side. Moreover, the on-substrate configuration also limits the possibility of exploring their mechanical properties and further potential applications. Although substrate manipulation is an effective route to reduce this substrate effect, the freestanding NMs could possess completely identical dielectric surroundings and thus optimal resonances.  However, challenges arise from fabricating large-area metal NMs with both freestanding modality and nanohole arrays at the same time.

Here we report wafer-scale freestanding gold nanomembranes with nanohole lattices fabricated using a replication-releasing procedure. The structures maintain spatial uniformity and pristine quality after release across the entire membrane up to 75 cm2 in area and as thin as 50 nm. The freestanding nanomembranes show significantly enhanced optical transmission and effective field extension compared to the same nanomembranes on substrates. A plasmonic coupling resonance with a 2.7 nm linewidth achieves a record figure-of-merit of 240 for refractive index sensing. The gold nanomembranes can be geometrically converted to 3D microstructures by ion-irradiation-based kirigami technique. The transformed micro-objects can be precisely controlled via geometry design and strategic cutting. Furthermore, we find the presence of nanoholes can significantly change the in-plane modulus of the gold nanomembranes. Finally, the freestanding gold nanomembranes can be transferred to non-planar substrates, enabling their future integration with advanced optical and electronic systems for emerging applications.

Audience take away:

• Generation of large-area freestanding gold NMs penetrated with nanohole lattices using a template transfer technique.
• Gold NMs can sustain wafer-scale integrity and uniformity of through nanoholes.
• An extremely narrow resonance is observed and achieves a record high sensing performance.
• By ion irradiation, freestanding NMs can be converted from 2D layouts to 3D structures. 
• Gold NMs can be attached to various non-planar substrates.