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9 September 2008 A novel lithography technique for formation of large areas of uniform nanostructures
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With nanotechnology becoming widely used, many applications such as plasmonics, sensors, storage devices, solar cells, nano-filtration and artificial kidneys require the structures with large areas of uniform periodic nanopatterns. Most of the current nano-manufacturing techniques, including photolithography, electron-beam lithography, and focal ion beam milling, are either slow or expensive to be applied into the areas. Here, we demonstrate an alternative and novel lithography technique - Nanosphere Photolithography (NSP) - that generates a large area of highly uniform periodic nanoholes or nanoposts by utilizing the monolayer of hexagonally close packed (HCP) silica microspheres as super-lenses on top of photoresist. The size of the nanopatterns generated is almost independent of the sphere sizes and hence extremely uniform patterns can be obtained. We demonstrate that the method can produce hexagonally packed arrays of hole of sub-250 nm size in positive photoresist using a conventional exposure system with a broadband UV source centered at 400 nm. We also show a large area of highly uniform gold nanoholes (~180 nm) and nanoposts (~300nm) array with the period of 1 μm fabricated by the combination of lift-off and NSP. The process is not limited to gold. Similar structures have been shown with aluminum and silicon dioxide layer. The period and size of the structures can also be tuned by changing proper parameters. The technique applying self-assembled and focusing properties of micro-/nano-spheres into photolithography establishes a new paradigm for mask-less photolithography technique, allowing rapid and economical creation of large areas of periodic nanostructures with a high throughput.
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Wei Wu, Dibyendu Dey, Omer G. Memis, Alex Katsnelson, and Hooman Mohseni "A novel lithography technique for formation of large areas of uniform nanostructures", Proc. SPIE 7039, Nanoengineering: Fabrication, Properties, Optics, and Devices V, 70390P (9 September 2008);

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