The nanoscale control afforded by scanning probe microscopes has prompted the development of a wide variety of scanning-probe-based patterning methods. Some of these methods have demonstrated a high degree of robustness and patterning capabilities that are unmatched by other lithographic techniques. However, the limited throughput of scanning probe lithography has prevented its exploitation in technological applications. Here, we review the fundamentals of scanning probe lithography and its use in materials science and nanotechnology. We focus on robust methods, such as those based on thermal effects, chemical reactions and voltage-induced processes, that demonstrate a potential for applications.
At a glance
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