Electrically biased nanolithography with KOH-coated AFM tips

Jae Won Jang, Raymond G. Sanedrin, Daniel Maspoch, Seongpil Hwang, Tsuyohiko Fujigaya, You Moon Jeon, Rafael A. Vega, Xiaodong Chen, Chad A. Mirkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


This letter provides the first study aimed at characterizing the desorption and nanolithographic processes for SAM-coated, gold-coated silicon substrates oxidatively patterned with an AFM with a tip under potential control. The process either results in recessed patterns where the monolayer has been removed or raised structures where the monolayer has been removed and silicon oxidation has taken place. Eleven different SAMs have been studied, and the type of pattern formed depends markedly upon SAM chain length, end functional group, and applied bias. We show how local pH and choice of monolayer can be used to very effectively control the type of pattern that is ultimately formed. Interestingly, we show that hydroxide anion accessibility to the substrate surface is one of the most significant factors in determining the pattern topography. Moreover, control over the pattern topography can be achieved by controlling the concentration of the KOH in the water meniscus formed at the point of contact between tip and surface in the context of a bias-controlled DPN experiment with a KOH-coated tip. The work provides important insight into the factors that control SAM desorption and also ways of controlling the topography of features made in a potential-controlled scanning probe nanolithographic process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1451-1455
Number of pages5
JournalNano Letters
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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