Thermal Dip Pen Nanolithography
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC CHEMISTRY DIV
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The steady shrinking of integrated circuits demands constant innovation. Though ever-greater resolution remains the foremost goal, many new abilities are also needed - the reduction of toxic by-products green chemistry, integration of heterogeneous materials e.g., organic and inorganic into a single structure, and the production of just a few integrated circuits at low cost. We are developing a new lithographic approach, thermal Dip Pen Nano-lithography tDPN, to both achieve greater resolution and address many of these secondary needs. Although tDPN can create nanoscale structures, in principle it works as simply as a soldering iron. The heart of the device is a custom-fabricated heatable atomic force microscope AFM tip, coated with a material i.e., the solder or ink that is solid at room temperature. When melted, the ink flows from the tip onto the surface. The use of meltable inks has many benefits. Since the inks fluidity is controlled by the tip temperature, writing may be turned on or off and the deposition rate easily varied. Secondly, one can write new layers on top of previously deposited-now solid-layers to create complicated three-dimensional structures. Finally, tDPN can be performed in vacuum, making it compatible with conventional semiconductor device fabrication.
- Electrical and Electronic Equipment