Scanning Probe Lithography

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Scanning Probe Lithography

The ability to organize molecules on the nanometer scale is one of the major enabling principles in the field of bio-nanotechnology. Scanning probe microscopy (SPM) offers this ability and has been a key tool to directly produce (no resist) nanopatterns of self-assembled monolayers (SAMs). Scanning probe lithography (SPL) utilizes scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) or atomic force microscopy (AFM), which are well-known for their ability to visualize sample surfaces with the highest spatial resolution to manipulate underneath molecules. This nanoscale control ability has prompted the development of a wide variety of SPL-based patterning methods. For example, stimulus-responsive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (pNIPAAM) brush nanopatterns were prepared on gold-coated silicon substrates in a “grafting-from” approach that combines “nanoshaving”, a SPL method, with surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization (SI-ATRP). At Matexcel, we have applied SPL on a wide range of materials, including metal nitride thin films, SAMs and monomers.

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