Automated scanning probe lithography with n-alkanethiol self-assembled monolayers on au(111): Application for teaching undergraduate laboratories

Treva T. Brown, Zorabel M. LeJeune, Kai Liu, Sean Hardin, Jie Ren Li, Kresimir Rupnik, Jayne C. Garno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Controllers for scanning probe instruments can be programmed for automated lithography to generate desired surface arrangements of nanopatterns of organic thin films, such as n-alkanethiol self-assembled monolayers (SAMs). In this report, atomic force microscopy (AFM) methods of lithography known as nanoshaving and nano-grafting are used to write nanopatterns within organic thin films. Commercial instruments provide software to control the length, direction, speed, and applied force of the scanning motion of the tip. For nanoshaving, higher forces are applied to an AFM tip to selectively remove regions of the matrix monolayer, exposing bare areas of the gold substrate. Nanografting is accomplished by force-induced displacement of molecules of a matrix SAM, followed immediately by the surface self-assembly of n-alkanethiol molecules from solution. Advancements in AFM automation enable rapid protocols for nanolithography, which can be accomplished within the tight time restraints of undergraduate laboratories. Example experiments with scanning probe lithography will be described in this report that were accomplished by undergraduate students during laboratory course activities and research internships in the chemistry department of Louisiana State University. Students were introduced to principles of surface analysis and gained "hands-on" experience with nanoscale chemistry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-125
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Laboratory Automation
Volume16
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Apr

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Medical Laboratory Technology

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