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Nat Nanotechnol. 2007 Mar;2(3):145-55. doi: 10.1038/nnano.2007.39. Epub 2007 Feb 25.

Applications of dip-pen nanolithography.

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Department of Chemistry and International Institute for Nanotechnology, Northwestern University, 2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston, Illinois 60208-3113, USA.


The ability to tailor the chemical composition and structure of a surface at the sub-100-nm length scale is important for studying topics ranging from molecular electronics to materials assembly, and for investigating biological recognition at the single biomolecule level. Dip-pen nanolithography (DPN) is a scanning probe microscopy-based nanofabrication technique that uniquely combines direct-write soft-matter compatibility with the high resolution and registry of atomic force microscopy (AFM), which makes it a powerful tool for depositing soft and hard materials, in the form of stable and functional architectures, on a variety of surfaces. The technology is accessible to any researcher who can operate an AFM instrument and is now used by more than 200 laboratories throughout the world. This article introduces DPN and reviews the rapid growth of the field of DPN-enabled research and applications over the past several years.

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