Applied Physics

Complex Layered Construction

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Science  15 Aug 2003:
Vol. 301, Issue 5635, pp. 896-897
DOI: 10.1126/science.301.5635.896d

A number of techniques, such as molding, printing, and embossing, are commonly used to fabricate two-dimensional structures cheaply and quickly. In traditional microcontact printing, a patterned stamp of a soft polymer that has been coated with a thin film is used to deposit the film only in the places where the stamp touches the substrate. Zaumseil et al. use their related nanotransfer printing technique to build complex three-dimensional structures that would be difficult to fabricate by other means. They coat the substrate with a thin layer of “ink,” such as a monolayer of an alkane thiol, which aids in the transfer of the stamped gold film without the need for elevated pressure or temperature. When a stamp with sloping sidewalls is used, even the areas not in contact with the substrate are transferred. This grooved pattern can then be used as a mask for deep etching, or a second grooved layer can be deposited perpendicularly to the first. Complex patterns that have both nanometer-and micrometer-scale features built into the master stamp are easily transferred, and the quality of the patterned gold films is dramatically improved by coating the polymeric stamp with a thin layer of titanium or by treating it with an oxygen plasma. — MSL

Nano Lett. 10.1021/nl0344007 (2003).

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