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Adv Mater. 2018 Aug;30(35):e1801772. doi: 10.1002/adma.201801772. Epub 2018 Jul 19.

Scanning Nanowelding Lithography for Rewritable One-Step Patterning of Sub-50 nm High-Aspect-Ratio Metal Nanostructures.

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Laboratory for Advanced Interfacial Materials and Devices, Institute of Textiles and Clothing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR, China.
Department of Applied Physics, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR, China.
School of Materials Science and Engineering, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.


The development of a new nanolithographic strategy, named scanning nanowelding lithography (SNWL), for the one-step fabrication of arbitrary high-aspect-ratio nanostructures of metal is reported in this study. Different from conventional pattern transfer and additive printing strategies which require subtraction or addition of materials, SNWL makes use of a sharp scanning tip to reshape metal thin films or existing nanostructures into desirable high-aspect-ratio patterns, through a cold-welding effect of metal at the nanoscale. As a consequence, SNWL can easily fabricate, in one step and at ambient conditions, sub-50 nm metal nanowalls with remarkable aspect ratio >5, which are found to be strong waveguide of light. More importantly, SNWL outweighs the existing strategies in terms of the unique ability to erase the as-made nanostructures and rewrite them into other shapes and orientations on-demand. Taking advantages of the serial and rewriting capabilities of SNWL, the smart information storage-erasure of Morse codes is demonstrated. SNWL is a promising method to construct arbitrary high-aspect-ratio nanostructure arrays that are highly desirable for biological, medical, optical, electronic, and information applications.


high aspect ratio; metal; nanofabrication; rewritable; scanning probe lithography


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