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Electric-Field-Assisted Dip-Pen Nanolithography on Poly(4-vinylpyridine) (P4VP) Thin Films
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces (2010)
  • Xiaohua Wang, Portland State University
  • Xin Wang, Portland State University
  • Rodolfo Fernandez, Portland State University
  • Leonidas Ocola, Argonne National Laboratory
  • Mingdi Yan, Portland State University
  • Andres H. La Rosa, Portland State University
Dip-pen nanolithography (DPN) has attracted increased attention for its ability to generate nanometer-scale patterns on solid surface using an “ink”-coated atomic force microscope (AFM) tip. In contrast to this conventional anchoring-molecules procedure, nanopatterns can also be created by triggering the structural response of the proper substrate. In one approach, the delivery of acidic buffer from the tip into a poly(4-vinylpyridine) (P4VP) thin film (while the tip is being laterally moved, in a raster fashion, along a preprogrammed pattern) leads to the polymer swelling in response to the local protonation. This practice, however, has suffered from a lack of consistency due to the potentially many factors influencing the pattern formation. Herein we report that a more reliable strategy for well controlling the protonation process results when applying an electric field between the AFM tip and the sample. We demonstrate the improved capabilities of the electric-field-assisted DPN method towards reproducibly and reliably fabricating nanostructures by taking advantage of the responsive characteristics (i.e. swelling) of P4VP. Our work includes a systematic study of pattern fabrication under different patterning parameters (mainly the applied bias and contact force) and, very important, provides evidence of the reversible characteristic of the pattern formation process.
  • Cross-linked P4VP thin film,
  • Protonation,
  • Electric-field-assisted,
  • Erasable patterns,
  • Dip-pen nanolithography
Publication Date
October, 2010
Citation Information
Xiaohua Wang, Xin Wang, Rodolfo Fernandez, Leonidas Ocola, et al.. "Electric-Field-Assisted Dip-Pen Nanolithography on Poly(4-vinylpyridine) (P4VP) Thin Films" ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces Vol. 2 Iss. 10 (2010)
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