Letter abstract

Nature Nanotechnology 2, 545 - 548 (2007)
Published online: 2 September 2007 | doi:10.1038/nnano.2007.264

Subject terms: Nanomaterials | Surface patterning and imaging

Self-formation of sub-60-nm half-pitch gratings with large areas through fracturing

Leonard F. Pease, III1, Paru Deshpande2, Ying Wang2, William B. Russel1 & Stephen Y. Chou2

Periodic micro- and nanostructures (gratings) have many significant applications in electronic, optical, magnetic, chemical and biological devices and materials. Traditional methods for fabricating gratings by writing with electrons1, ions2 or a mechanical tip are limited to very small areas and suffer from extremely low throughput. Interference lithography can achieve relatively large fabrication areas, but has a low yield for small-period gratings3, 4. Photolithography5, nanoimprint lithography6, 7, soft lithography8, 9 and lithographically induced self-construction10 all require a prefabricated mask, and although electrohydrodynamic instabilities11 can self-produce periodic dots without a mask, gratings remain challenging. Here, we report a new low-cost maskless method to self-generate nano- and microgratings from an initially featureless polymer thin film sandwiched between two relatively rigid flat plates. By simply prising apart the plates, the film fractures into two complementary sets of nonsymmetrical gratings, one on each plate, of the same period. The grating period is always four times the thickness of the glassy film, regardless of its molecular weight and chemical composition. Periods from 120 nm to 200 µm have been demonstrated across areas as large as two square centimetres.

  1. Department of Chemical Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 08544, USA
  2. Department of Electrical Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 08544, USA

Correspondence to: William B. Russel1 e-mail: wbrussel@princeton.edu

Correspondence to: Stephen Y. Chou2 e-mail: chou@princeton.edu


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