Nanoarrays Synthesized from Porous Alumina
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Currently, nanotechnology is concerned with fabrication of useful materials at the nanoscale level for applications in nanodevices. Several methods are being used for nanofabrication, e-beam lithography, interference lithography, cluster method, etc. One commonly used method is the use of membranes with nanosized holes. When the holes are filled up with appropriate materials, it leads to formation of a self-assembled nanoarray. Some commonly used membranes are polycarbonate membranes and nanoporous alumina membranes. Use of porous alumina membranes is particularly noteworthy. These are aluminum oxide membranes with nanosized cylindrical holes perpendicular to the surface of the film. The membranes are available commercially in some fixed sizes with specific pore diameters. They can also be prepared very easily in the laboratory using electrochemical means. Fabrication conditions can be controlled to achieve desired pore length and diameter, and they can be used in many different ways to prepare a variety of nanostructured materials, magnetic metals and alloys, semiconductor alloys and heterostructures, superconductors, carbon nanotubes, etc. This article briefly reviews some of the ongoing research in the area of nanofabrication using porous alumina templates.