Polymer Engineering Faculty Research

Electrostatic nanolithography in polymer materials: an alternative technique for nanostructures formation

Erol Sancaktar, The University of Akron


The combination of localized softening attolitres (10^2 -10^4) of polymer film by Jule heating, extremely non-uniform electric field gradients to polarize and manipulate the soften polymer, and single step technique using conventional atomic force microscopy (AFM), establishes a new paradigm for nanolithography in a broad class of polymer materials allowing rapid (order of milliseconds) creation of raised and depressed nanostructures without external heating of a polymer film of AFM tip-film contact [1]. In this work we present recent studies of AFM-assisted electrostatic nanolithography (AFMEN) such as amplitude-modulated AFMEN, and the humidity influence on nanostructures formation during contact mode AFMEN. It has been shown that the aspect ratio of nanostructures grows on the order of magnitude (0.2), while the lateral dimensions of nanodots decreases down to 10-15 nm.