Several lithographic techniques are used for patterning in the nanoscale region. Dip Pen Nanolithography combines cutting edge atomic level technologies with age old writing methods.
Dip-Pen Nanolithography (DPN) is a direct write lithographic technique that uses an atomic force microscope (AFM) to build a pattern on the substrate material rather than etching it away. In the same way that an old fashioned dip pen picks up ink from an ink well and is then used to write on paper, molecules are picked up from a reservoir on the end of the AFM tip and deposited to the surface of the substrate via a solvent or water.
Figure 1. Schematic diagram showing how dip pen nanolithography works
Dip pen nanolithography can be used for both fabrication and imaging.
DPN can currently be used to create patterns with resolutions down to 10nm.
Dip pen nanolithography can be used in a range of applications from semiconductor patterning and chip manufacturing to biomedical and pharmaceuticals development.