Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) have developed another method for writing nanometer-scale patterns onto a variety of surfaces.
Their writing method is called thermal dip pen nanolithography, which is an extension for dip pen nanolithography. The tDPN method uses easily melted solid inks and special AFM probes. The probes have built-in heaters that allow writing to be turned on and off at will. The tDPN could be used to produce features too small to be formed by light-based lithography. Other applications of the tDPN include using the process as a soldering iron for repairing circuitry on semiconductor chips. The thermal materials also provide sharper features because they do not spread out like liquid inks.
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