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Open Access Printing Meets Lithography: Soft Approaches to High-Resolution Patterning

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We are developing a high-resolution printing technique based on transferring a pattern from an elastomeric stamp to a solid substrate by conformal contact. This is an attempt to enhance the accuracy of classical printing to a precision comparable with optical lithography, creating a low-cost, large-area, high-resolution patterning process. First, we introduce the components of this technique, called soft lithography, and review its evolution. Topics described in detail are the stamp material, stamp architecture, pattern design rules, and printing tools. The accuracy of the prints made by thin patterned elastomeric layers supported on a stiff and flexible backplane is then assessed, and defects are characterized using a new electrical metrology approach. This is followed by a discussion of various printing processes used in our laboratory: (1) thiol printing for high-resolution patterns of noble metals that may also be used as sacrificial masks; (2) confined contact processing with liquids in cavities or channels to chemically convert a substrate or deposit layers of materials or biomolecules; (3) printing of catalysts to mediate patterned deposition of metals; and (4) structured, light-guiding stamps for transferring high-resolution patterns into photoresists. Finally, we compare classical and high-resolution printing approaches, and describe their potential for emerging micro- and nanoscale patterning technologies.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 October 2002

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  • International Journal for Chemistry and Official Membership Journal of the Swiss Chemical Society (SCS) and its Divisions

    CHIMIA, a scientific journal for chemistry in the broadest sense, is published 10 times a year and covers the interests of a wide and diverse readership. Contributions from all fields of chemistry and related areas are considered for publication in the form of Review Articles and Notes. A characteristic feature of CHIMIA are the thematic issues, each devoted to an area of great current significance.

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