The development of nanoscience and nanotechnology depends strongly on the capabilities of the fabrication techniques that are used for patterning and chemically modifying materials at the nanoscale. Most of the research and development in this area has, in the past, been driven mainly by the needs of the microelectronics industry. The spectacular progress in this field has been made possible by the successful scaling of lithography techniques down to the 100-nanometer scale. While these techniques are extremely well suited for the patterning of spin-coated photosensitive materials on ultra-flat surfaces, they are incompatible with important classes of organic and chemically or mechanically fragile materials. Significant challenges exist in adapting these methods for unconventional materials found in biology, chemistry and fluidics, photonics, and plastic electronics. They are also inadequate for patterning on surfaces that are not ultra-flat. Moreover, these techniques are particularly inefficient for generating complex three-dimensional structures in a single patterning step. Recent research seeks to develop new patterning techniques that will enable the efficient fabrication of two-or three-dimensional nanometer-scale structures of unconventional materials, over large areas (i.e., larger than a few square centimeters) and on nonplanar (i.e., rough or curved) surfaces.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)