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Dip-pen nanolithography

Dip-pen nanolithography is a simple and quick way to fabricate individual carbon nanotube devices than conventional electron-beam lithography because it does not damage the nanotubes. DPN works with a variety of inks, including the widely used alkanethiols, conducting polymers, biological molecules and metal nanoparticles. DPN can be used to pattern electrical contacts in nanoelectronic devices made from SWCNTs. DPN can image nanostructures and pattern electrical contacts using one system operating under ambient conditions.In conventional DPN, a probe tip is coated with a liquid ink, which then flows onto the surface to make patterns wherever the tip makes contact.
Thermal dip pen nanolithography
Thermal dip pen nanolithography, represents an important extension for DPN, an increasingly popular technique that uses atomic force microscopy (AFM) probes as pens to produce nanometer-scale patterns.The thermal DPN (tDPN) method uses easily-melted solid inks and special AFM probes with built-in heaters that allow writing to be turned on and off at will. The tDPN technique could be used to produce features too small to be formed with light-based lithography well beyond the limits of conventional semiconductor patterning processes, and as a nanoscale soldering iron for repairing circuitry on semiconductor chips. Conventional dip pen nanolithography cannot be used in a vacuum because liquid inks would simply evaporate. But the solid materials used in the thermal process bond to surfaces, allowing them to be used in vacuum environments that are part of conventional semiconductor manufacturing. The thermal materials also provide sharper features because they don’t spread out like liquid inks.

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