The Evolution of Dip-Pen Nanolithography

David S. Ginger, Hua Zhang, Chad A. Mirkin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

560 Scopus citations


The ability to tailor the chemical composition and structure of a surface on the 1-100 nm length scale is important to researchers studying topics ranging from electronic conduction, to catalysis, to biological recognition in nanoscale systems. Dip-pen nanolithography (DPN) is a new scanning-probe based direct-write tool for generating such surface-patterned chemical functionality on the sub-100 nm length-scale, and it is a technique that is accessible to any researcher who can use an atomic force microscope. This article introduces DPN and reviews the rapid growth of the field of DPN-related research over the past few years. Topics covered range from the development of new classes of DPN-compatible chemistry, to experimental and theoretical advances in the understanding of the processes controlling tip-substrate ink transport, to the implementation of micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) based strategies for parallel DPN applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-45
Number of pages16
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 22 2004


  • Biorecognition
  • Dip-pen nanolithography
  • Microarrays
  • Nanostructures
  • Surface chemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Catalysis


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