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Small. 2017 Nov;13(43). doi: 10.1002/smll.201702003. Epub 2017 Sep 20.

Large-Area Patterning of Metal Nanostructures by Dip-Pen Nanodisplacement Lithography for Optical Applications.

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Laboratory for Advanced Interfacial Materials and Devices, Institute of Textiles and Clothing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong SAR, China.
Department of Chemistry and International Institute for Nanotechnology, Northwestern University, 2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL, 60208, USA.
Department of Physics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong SAR, China.


Au nanostructures are remarkably important in a wide variety of fields for decades. The fabrication of Au nanostructures typically requires time-consuming and expensive electron-beam lithography (EBL) that operates in vacuum. To address this challenge, this paper reports the development of massive dip-pen nanodisplacement lithography (DNL) as a desktop fabrication tool, which allows high-throughput and rational design of arbitrary Au nanopatterns in ambient condition. Large-area (1 cm2 ) and uniform (<10% variation) Au nanostructures as small as 70 nm are readily fabricated, with a throughput 100-fold higher than that of conventional EBL. As a proof-of-concept of the applications in the opitcal field, we fabricate discrete Au nanorod arrays that show significant plasmonic resonance in the visible range, and interconnected Au nanomeshes that are used for transparent conductive electrode of solar cells.


nanofabrication; polymer brush; scanning probe lithography; solar cells; transparent conductive electrodes


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