This report was developed under a DARPA contract for topic Atoms to products. Two primary goals were addressed in this project. In Focus Area 1 (Assembly Development) the goal was to assemble a 10 μm microelement consisting of an anisotropic lattice of ~5000 (~100 nm) dielectric nanoparticles (NPs) embedded in a polymer electrolyte. Successful completion of the objectives of this goal required that NPs be spatially located with nm-scale precision in a polymer matrix at scales up to ~10 μm (total). In Focus Area 2 (Functionality Development) the goal was to establish the efficacy of reconfigurable microelements by demonstrating atomic junction formation/dissolution between core-shell metal NPs in a polymer electrolyte on a model thin-film system. Work on this goal demonstrated that conductive channels can be formed and dissolved between metal NPs. Additional work in Focus Area 2 demonstrated the controllable formation and dissolution of self-limiting nanofilaments connecting multiple NPs (beads-on-a-string morphology) and demonstrated the formation of nanofilaments in self-organized polyelectrolyte nanopores for the growth of Ag nanofilaments by conductive-AFM. Collectively, work on the two focus area goals developed and demonstrated the technology needed for assembly and postassembly reconfigurable wiring of nanoscale optical lattices.
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