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Proceedings Paper

Fabrication of sub-diffraction-limit molecular structures by scanning near-field photolithography
Author(s): Robert E. Ducker; Matthew T. Montague; Shuqing Sun; Graham J. Leggett
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Paper Abstract

Using a scanning near-field optical microscope coupled to a UV laser, an approach we term scanning near-field photolithography (SNP), structures as small as 9 nm (ca. λ/30) may be fabricated in self-assembled monolayers of alkanethiols on gold surfaces. Selective exposure of the adsorbate molecules in the near field leads to photoconversion of the alkylthiolate to a weakly bound alkylsulfonate which may be displaced readily be a contrasting thiol, leading to a chemical pattern, or used as a resist for the selective etching of the underlying metal. A novel ultra-mild etch for gold is reported, and used to etch structures as small as 9 nm. Photopatterning of oligo(ethylene glycol) (OEG) terminated selfassembled monolayers facilitates the fabrication of biomolecular nanostructures. Selective removal of the protein-resistant OEG terminated adsorbates created regions that may be functionalized with a second thiol and derivatized with a biomolecule. Finally, the application of SNP to nanopatterning on oxide surfaces is demonstrated. Selective exposure of monolayers of phosphonic acids adsorbed onto aluminum oxide leads to cleavage of the P-C bond and desorption of the adsorbate molecule. Subsequent etching, using aqueous based, yields structures as small as 100 nm.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 September 2007
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 6645, Nanoengineering: Fabrication, Properties, Optics, and Devices IV, 664513 (11 September 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.735801
Show Author Affiliations
Robert E. Ducker, Univ. of Sheffield (United Kingdom)
Matthew T. Montague, Univ. of Sheffield (United Kingdom)
Shuqing Sun, Univ. of Sheffield (United Kingdom)
Graham J. Leggett, Univ. of Sheffield (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6645:
Nanoengineering: Fabrication, Properties, Optics, and Devices IV
Elizabeth A. Dobisz; Louay A. Eldada, Editor(s)

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