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Langmuir. 2013 Jun 4;29(22):6737-45. doi: 10.1021/la400943j. Epub 2013 May 17.

Stepwise molding, etching, and imprinting to form libraries of nanopatterned substrates.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843, United States.


Herein, we describe a novel colloidal lithographic strategy for the stepwise patterning of planar substrates with numerous complex and unique designs. In conjunction with colloidal self-assembly, imprint molding, and capillary force lithography, reactive ion etching was used to create complex libraries of nanoscale features. This combinatorial strategy affords the ability to develop an exponentially increasing number of two-dimensional nanoscale patterns with each sequential step in the process. Specifically, dots, triangles, circles, and lines could be assembled on the surface separately and in combination with each other. Numerous architectures are obtained for the first time with high uniformity and reproducibility. These hexagonal arrays were made from polystyrene and gold features, whereby each surface element could be tuned from the micrometer size scale down to line widths of ~35 nm. The patterned area could be 1 cm(2) or even larger. The techniques described herein can be combined with further steps to make even larger libraries. Moreover, these polymer and metal features may prove useful in optical, sensing, and electronic applications.

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