Dip Pen Nanolithography Transport Mechanisms
NanoInk’s Dip Pen Nanolithography® (DPN®) platforms utilize two distinct deposition mechanisms to enable the patterning of a wide variety of materials. The understanding of each mechanism is essential for successful DPN lithography processes.
The deposition mechanism most commonly associated with Dip Pen Nanolithography is molecular diffusion and it involves the transfer of small molecules from a DPN tip to a surface. With this mechanism, the molecular material is first coated and dried onto a DPN tip. The subsequent transfer of molecules from tip to surface occurs through a water meniscus that forms spontaneously from the surrounding atmosphere. The diffusion rate is molecule dependent. The most common molecular diffusion materials are alkanethiols, but silanes and polymers also work well. The molecular diffusion mechanism only applies to molecules that are in the solid phase on the tip.
The size of the features created from the molecular diffusion model are mostly dependent on the size of the water meniscus, allowing feature size to be controlled through the humidity (meniscus size) and the length of time the tip is held in contact with the surface. Under the proper conditions, features as small as 50 nm and as large as 1000 nm can be reproducibly patterned.
Molecular ink deposition
Close up view of the molecular transport mechanism in action
Multiplexed protein depositions with sub-cellular resolution and arbitrary shapes
Deposition of a liquid ink