In situ monitored self-assembly of three-dimensional polyhedral nanostructures

Chunhui Dai, Jeong Hyun Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The self-assembly of 3D nanostructures is a promising technology for the fabrication of next generation nanodevices and the exploration of novel phenomena. However, the present techniques for assembly of 3D nanostructures are invisible and have to be done without physical contact, which bring great challenges in controlling the shapes with nanoscale precision. This situation leads to an extremely low yield of self-assembly, especially in 3D nanostructures built with metal and semiconductor materials. Here, an in situ self-assembly process using a focused ion beam (FIB) microscopy system has been demonstrated to realize 3D polyhedral nanostructures from 2D multiple pieces. An excited ion beam in the FIB microscopy system offers not only a visualization of the nanoscale self-assembly process but also the necessary energy for inducing the process. Because the beam energy that induces the self-assembly can be precisely adjusted while monitoring the status of the self-assembly, it is possible to control the self-assembly process with sub-10 nm scale precision, resulting in the realization of diverse 3D nanoarchitectures with a high yield. This approach will lead to state-of-the-art applications utilizing properties of 3D nanostructures in diverse fields.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3655-3660
Number of pages6
JournalNano letters
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 8 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant CMMI-1454293 and start-up and Grant-In-Aid Program funds at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Parts of this work were carried out in the Characterization Facility, University of Minnesota, a member of the NSF-funded Materials Research Facilities Network ( via the MRSEC program. A portion of this work was also carried out in the Minnesota Nano Center which receives partial support from the NSF through the NNCI program.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Chemical Society.


  • 3D
  • In situ
  • focused ion beam microscopy
  • metal reflow
  • self-assembly


Dive into the research topics of 'In situ monitored self-assembly of three-dimensional polyhedral nanostructures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this