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Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE)

Source Publication

Proceedings of SPIE 9779, Advances in Patterning Materials and Processes XXXIII,


This paper discusses the integration of nanosphere lithography (NSL) with other fabrication techniques, allowing for nano-scaled features to be realized within larger microelectromechanical system (MEMS) based devices. Nanosphere self-patterning methods have been researched for over three decades, but typically not for use as a lithography process. Only recently has progress been made towards integrating many of the best practices from these publications and determining a process that yields large areas of coverage, with repeatability and enabled a process for precise placement of nanospheres relative to other features. Discussed are two of the more common self-patterning methods used in NSL (i.e. spin-coating and dip coating) as well as a more recently conceived variation of dip coating. Recent work has suggested the repeatability of any method depends on a number of variables, so to better understand how these variables affect the process a series of test vessels were developed and fabricated. Commercially available 3-D printing technology was used to incrementally alter the test vessels allowing for each variable to be investigated individually. With these deposition vessels, NSL can now be used in conjunction with other fabrication steps to integrate features otherwise unattainable through current methods, within the overall fabrication process of larger MEMS devices. Patterned regions in 1800 series photoresist with a thickness of ~700nm are used to capture regions of self-assembled nanospheres. These regions are roughly 2-5 microns in width, and are able to control the placement of 500nm polystyrene spheres by controlling where monolayer self-assembly occurs. The resulting combination of photoresist and nanospheres can then be used with traditional deposition or etch methods to utilize these fine scale features in the overall design.


Published version. Proceedings of SPIE 9779, Advances in Patterning Materials and Processes XXXIII, 97791S (March 21, 2016). DOI. © (2016) Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Used with permission.

Ronald A. Coutu, Jr. was affiliated with the Air Force Institute of Technology at the time of publication.

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