Capillary Force on a Nanoscale Tip in Dip-Pen Nanolithography

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9 Scopus citations


Monte Carlo simulation has been used to characterize the capillary force due to the condensation of a liquid meniscus between a tip with a nanoscale asperity and a flat surface. To consider both hydrophobic and hydrophilic molecules coating the tip as a model of dip-pen nanolithography, tips with various wettabilities are studied. The capillary force due to the meniscus is calculated for various saturations (humidities). We have implemented a thermodynamic integration technique that can project the force into energetic and entropic contributions. In most cases, the force is mainly energetic in origin. At the snap-off separation where the meniscus disappears, the tip feels a significant entropic force at high saturation. Our calculation shows nonmonotonic behavior of the pull-off force as a function of saturation, which is in qualitative accord with experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4
Number of pages1
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number15
StatePublished - 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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