Grayscale nanolithography for 2D nanoelectronics

(Nanowerk News) Grayscale structured surfaces with nanometer-scale features are used in a growing number of applications in optics and fluidics. Thermal scanning probe lithography achieves a lateral resolution below 10 nm and a vertical resolution below 1 nm, but its maximum depth in polymers is limited.
Now, researchers in the LMIS1, led by J├╝rgen Brugger, have developed an innovative combination of nanowriting in thermal resist and plasma dry etching with substrate cooling.
Their method, recently published in the journal Microsystems & Nanoengineering ("Combining thermal scanning probe lithography and dry etching for grayscale nanopattern amplification"), achieves up to 10-fold amplification of polymer nanopatterns into silicon dioxide (SiO2) without proportionally increasing surface roughness.
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Researchers have published an innovative grayscale nanolithography technique that has potential applications in photonic and nanoelectronic device fabrication. (Image: Microsystems Laboratory in the School of Engineering, EPFL)
Sinusoidal nanopatterns in SiO2 with 400 nm pitch and 150 nm depth are fabricated free of shape distortion after dry etching.
To exemplify the possible applications of the proposed method, grayscale dielectric nanostructures are used for scalable manufacturing through nanoimprint lithography and for strain nanoengineering of 2D materials.
Such a method for aspect ratio amplification and smooth grayscale nanopatterning has the potential to find application in the fabrication of photonic and nanoelectronic devices.
Source: By Celia Luterbacher, EPFL (Note: Content may be edited for style and length)
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