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Nat Nanotechnol. 2008 Dec;3(12):733-7. doi: 10.1038/nnano.2008.303. Epub 2008 Oct 12.

Flying plasmonic lens in the near field for high-speed nanolithography.

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  • 1Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720-1740, USA.


The commercialization of nanoscale devices requires the development of high-throughput nanofabrication technologies that allow frequent design changes. Maskless nanolithography, including electron-beam and scanning-probe lithography, offers the desired flexibility but is limited by low throughput. Here, we report a new low-cost, high-throughput approach to maskless nanolithography that uses an array of plasmonic lenses that 'flies' above the surface to be patterned, concentrating short-wavelength surface plasmons into sub-100 nm spots. However, these nanoscale spots are only formed in the near field, which makes it very difficult to scan the array above the surface at high speed. To overcome this problem we have designed a self-spacing air bearing that can fly the array just 20 nm above a disk that is spinning at speeds of between 4 and 12 m s(-1), and have experimentally demonstrated patterning with a linewidth of 80 nm. This low-cost nanofabrication scheme has the potential to achieve throughputs that are two to five orders of magnitude higher than other maskless techniques.

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