Articles

Nanoscale thermal lithography by local polymer decomposition using a heated atomic force microscope cantilever tip

[+] Author Affiliations
Yueming Hua

Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Atlanta, Georgia 30332-0100

Shubham Saxena

Georgia Institute of Technology, Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, Atlanta, Georgia 30332-0405

Clifford L. Henderson

Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Atlanta, Georgia 30332-0100

William P. King

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, Urbana, Illinois 61801

J. Micro/Nanolith. MEMS MOEMS. 6(2), 023012 (June 04, 2007). doi:10.1117/1.2743374
History: Received December 01, 2005; Revised October 09, 2006; Revised January 08, 2007; Accepted March 27, 2007; Published June 04, 2007
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Nanopatterning of polymer thin films is the basis for the vast majority of current microlithography processes used in integrated circuit manufacturing. Future scaling of such polymer patterning methods will require innovative solutions to overcome the prohibitively high tool and mask costs associated with current optical lithography methods, which will prevent their use in many applications. Scanning probe-based methods for surface modification are desirable in that they offer high resolution patterning while also offering the ability to perform in situ metrology. We report a new scanning probe lithography method that uses heated atomic force microscope cantilevers to achieve nanoscale patterning in thin polymer films via the local thermal decomposition of the polymer and in situ postdecomposition metrology. Specifically, cross-linked polycarbonate thin films are developed in this work and are shown to be excellent writing media for this process. This new method has the advantage that the tip can be heated and cooled on microsecond time scales and thus material can be removed and patterned without need for the disengagement of the tip from the polymer surface. This ability to write while the tip is constantly engaged to the surface offers significantly higher writing speeds for discontinuous patterns relative to other scanning probe techniques.

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© 2007 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Yueming Hua ; Shubham Saxena ; Clifford L. Henderson and William P. King
"Nanoscale thermal lithography by local polymer decomposition using a heated atomic force microscope cantilever tip", J. Micro/Nanolith. MEMS MOEMS. 6(2), 023012 (June 04, 2007). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.2743374


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