3 May 2007 Review of an intermediate-layer lithography approach
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Abstract
Conducting polymers, because of their promising potential to replace silicon and metals in building devices, have attracted great attention since the discovery of high conductivity in doped polyacetylene in 1977. Lithographic techniques present significant technical challenges when working with conducting polymers. Sensitivity of conducting polymers to environmental conditions (e.g., air, oxygen, moisture, high temperature and chemical solutions) makes current photolithographic methods unsuitable for patterning the conducting polymers due to the involvement of wet and/or dry etching processes in those methods. Existing non-photolithographic approaches have limitations in throughput, resolution or electrical insulation. Therefore, an intermediate-layer lithography (ILL) approach has been recently developed by my group to produce conducting polymer micro/nanostructures. In the ILL method, an intermediate layer of an electrically insulating polymer is coated between the substrate and a layer of the conducting polymer to be printed. Subsequently, the conducting polymer is printed through mold insertion using a hot-embossing process. The current hot-embossing based methods face the obstacles of residual layer and depth of field (i.e., the height variation in the mold structures). In contrast, the ILL approach does not leave a residual layer in the material of interest, making conducting polymer patterns isolated from one another and avoiding the shorting problem in the electrical applications of these patterns. Furthermore, in the ILL, the height variation potentially existing among the mold structures has been transferred to the intermediate layer, ensuring that all patterns in the mold have been properly transferred to the conducting polymer layer. In addition to conducting polymers, the ILL can also be applied to pattern metals as well as other types of polymers. This paper gives a review of this ILL method and reports the results that we have achieved to date.
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Cheng Luo, Cheng Luo, } "Review of an intermediate-layer lithography approach", Proc. SPIE 6556, Micro (MEMS) and Nanotechnologies for Defense and Security, 65561N (3 May 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.723895; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.723895
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