Many pens make light work
Jason Haaheim of NanoInk attempted to put the myths surrounding dip pen nanolithography to rest by reassuring NSTI’s nanofab audience that the technique suits high throughput.
Rather than using a single tip to write nano-features on samples such as gold, glass, silicon and gallium arsenide, NanoInk has devised a 55,000 tipped array that can pattern in parallel.
Haaheim reckons that a feature size of just 15 nm is possible with equipment costing as little as $200,000. Applications include the patterning of samples for biomolecular attachment and for the anchoring of carbon nanotubes.
Looking at the writing process in detail, it turns out that water in the air is the magic ingredient. Moisture condenses into a meniscus around each tip as the “ink” coated nano-pens touch the substrate surface. Once contact has been made, the meniscus helps to diffuse ink from the surface of the tip on to the sample.
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