Herein, we described a new dip-pen nanolithography (DPN)-based method for the direct patterning of organic/inorganic composite nanostructures on silicon and oxidized silicon substrates. The approach works by the hydrolysis of metal precursors in the meniscus between an AFM tip and a surface according to the reaction 2MCln + nH2O → M2On + 2nHCl; M = Al, Si, and Sn. The inks are hybrid composites of inorganic salts with amphiphilic block copolymer surfactants. Three proof-of-concept systems involving Al2O3, SiO2, and SnO2 nanostructures on silicon and silicon oxide surfaces have been studied. Arrays of dots and lines can be written easily with control over feature size and shape on the sub-200 nm level. The structures have been characterized by atomic force microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and energy-dispersive X-ray analysis. This work is important because it opens up the opportunity for using DPN to deposit solid-state materials rather than simple organic molecules onto surfaces with the resolution of an AFM without the need for a driving force other than chemisorption (e.g., applied fields).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry