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J Am Chem Soc. 2001 Aug 15;123(32):7887-9.

"Dip-Pen" nanolithography on semiconductor surfaces.

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Department of Chemistry and Center for Nanofabrication and Molecular Self-Assembly, Northwestern University, 2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston, Illinois 60208, USA.


Dip-Pen Nanolithography (DPN) uses an AFM tip to deposit organic molecules through a meniscus onto an underlying substrate under ambient conditions. Thus far, the methodology has been developed exclusively for gold using alkyl or aryl thiols as inks. This study describes the first application of DPN to write organic patterns with sub-100 nm dimensions directly onto two different semiconductor surfaces: silicon and gallium arsenide. Using hexamethyldisilazane (HMDS) as the ink in the DPN procedure, we were able to utilize lateral force microscopy (LFM) images to differentiate between oxidized semiconductor surfaces and patterned areas with deposited monolayers of HMDS. The choice of the silazane ink is a critical component of the process since adsorbates such as trichlorosilanes are incompatible with the water meniscus and polymerize during ink deposition. This work provides insight into additional factors, such as temperature and adsorbate reactivity, that control the rate of the DPN process and paves the way for researchers to interface organic and biological structures generated via DPN with electronically important semiconductor substrates.

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