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J Am Chem Soc. 2002 Feb 27;124(8):1576-7.

Self-assembled monolayers of alkanethiolates on palladium are good etch resists.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University, 12 Oxford Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA.


This paper describes microcontact printing (muCP) of long-chain alkanethiolates on palladium, followed by solution-phase etching with an iron(III)-based etchant, to make patterned structures. The commonly used soft-lithographic procedure for fabricating microstructures-muCP of SAMs on gold-has three shortcomings: a significant surface density of pinhole defects, substantial edge roughness, and incompatibility with processes used in CMOS fabrication. Microcontact printing on palladium gives fewer defects and smaller edge roughness than on gold, and is compatible with CMOS. The mechanism by which etch-resistant patterns are formed is different for palladium and gold. The Pd/S interfacial layer formed by the reaction of palladium films with sulfur-containing compounds provides good resistance to etches independently of the barrier to access the surface provided by the film of (CH2)n groups in the long-chain SAMs. This barrier is the basis of the etch resistance of SAMs on gold, but only supplements the etch resistance of the sulfur-containing interfacial layer on palladium. Characterization of the SAM formed from hexadecanethiol on palladium is described.

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