Project TitleEfficient, Versatile and Non-toxic Nanoparticle Thin Film Processing Method
Track Code2015-080
Short Description

A novel thin film processing method to create nanoparticle monolayers using electrospray #materials #thinfilm #nanotechnology #nanoparticles 


Northwestern researchers have developed an electrospray method to improve the bulk manufacturing of nanomaterials. Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) assembly is a classical molecular thin film processing technique which uses volatile, water-immiscible solvents to transfer a molecular monolayer coating onto a solid substrate. Despite its use in industry for almost a century, LB has been a limiting manufacturing tool due to its poor reproducibility and inefficient use of coating material. Northwestern engineers have developed a novel electrospray spreading technique which enables LB assembly to be a more robust manufacturing tool for thin-film fabrication. The method coats surfaces with greater yield and in a high throughput manner. It reduces the burden of material processing prior to assembly and minimizes the use of toxic volatile organic spreading solvents. Further, it is fully compatible with LB methodology such that it broadens the scope of LB assembly to include previously hard-to-process materials. This invention greatly improves the reproducibility and can be readily automated, making LB assembly more suitable as a manufacturing tool for nanoparticle applications. 

TagsMATERIALS: thin film, nanotechnology: nanoparticles
Posted DateMay 8, 2017 12:03 PM


Jiaxing Huang* 

Huali Nie 


  • Nanostructured thin films for device and coating 


  • More efficient with higher yields and greater throughput 
  • Capable of coating a larger variety of materials, including organic, polymeric and colloidal material 
  • Environmentally friendly: No use of toxic solvents 
  • More standardizable and scalable
  • Readily automatable
  • Fully compatible with LB processing 


Nie H, Dou X, Tang Z, Jang H, Huang J (2015). High-yield spreading of water-miscible solvents on water for Langmuir-Blodgett assembly. Journal of the American Chemical Society. 137(33): 10683-8. 

IP Status

US (US 15/223,617) and PCT (PCT/US2016/044760) patent applications have been filed.

Contact Information

Sarah Kamper, PhD 

Invention Associate 

(p) 847.491.5095