The Design Of A Nanolithographic Process
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This research delineates the design of a nanolithographic process for nanometer scale surface patterning. The process involves the combination of serial atomic force microscope (AFM) based nanolithography with the parallel patterning capabilities of soft lithography. The union of these two techniques provides for a unique approach to nanoscale patterning that establishes a research knowledge base and tools for future research and prototyping.To successfully design this process a number of separate research investigations were undertaken. A custom 3-axis AFM with feedback control on three positioning axes of nanometer precision was designed in order to execute nanolithographic research. This AFM system integrates a computer aided design/computer aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) environment to allow for the direct synthesis of nanostructures and patterns using a virtual design interface. This AFM instrument was leveraged primarily to study anodization nanolithography (ANL), a nanoscale patterning technique used to generate local surface oxide layers on metals and semiconductors. Defining research focused on the automated generation of complex oxide nanoscale patterns as directed by CAD/CAM design as well as the implementation of tip-sample current feedback control during ANL to increase oxide uniformity. Concurrently, research was conducted concerning soft lithography, primarily in microcontact printing (ÂµCP), and pertinent experimental and analytic techniques and procedures were investigated.Due to the masking abilities of the resulting oxide patterns from ANL, the results of AFM based patterning experiments are coupled with micromachining techniques to create higher aspect ratio structures at the nanoscale. These relief structures are used as master pattern molds for polymeric stamp formation to reproduce the original in a parallel fashion using µCP stamp formation and patterning. This new method of master fabrication provides for a useful alternative to conventional techniques for soft lithographic stamp formation and patterning.
DepartmentMechanical Engineering and Materials Science
Engineering, Materials Science
Atomic force microscope
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