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In this contribution we describe the application of Ink-Jet printing and Stencil Lithography in bionanotechnology. Both techniques are alternative patterning methods that can be used for the fabrication of biocompatible micro- and nanostructures out of the costly and restricted clean room environment. The applications presented in this contribution are 1) the cell patterning using Au dot arrays deposited on PDMS,by stencil lithography, 2) the fabrication of biosensors based on localized surface plasmon resonance in Au nanodots deposited by stencil lithography and 3) the printing of cells and biomolecules by InkJet printing.
We present the fabrication process and electrical characterization of sub-100 nm scale Al nanowires (NWs) fabricated by stencil lithography (SL). We use a stencil with sub- 100 nm wide nanoslits patterned by focused ion beam (FIB) milling. The stencil is aligned and clamped onto a substrate containing predefined electrical contacts. Then a 60 nm-thick layer of Aluminum (Al) is deposited through the stencil producing NWs with lengths of ~1, 2 and 5 μm and widths down to 65 nm. The NWs show an ohmic behavior with values varying from 30 Ω up to 300 Ω, depending on the dimensions of the structures. We have extracted a resistivity for the Al NWs of ~10 x 10-8 Ωm. We also show that stencils can be cleaned and reused, proving that SL is a cost-efficient and scalable manufacturing method for the direct fabrication of metallic NW...
One of the major advantages of stencil lithography is the possibility to use stencils many times. However, when stencils contain nanoapertures, the clogging of the membranes limits the useful life time of the stencils. The clogging is due to the accumulation of material deposited inside the apertures of the stencil. Here, we report a study on the effect of the clogging on the life time of stencils after Al depositions through the stencils. Then we present a method to clean the stencils based on Al wet etching to eliminate the clogging. We show that this method allows the reusability of stencils for the repeatable depositions of Al nanostructures.
A quantitative analysis of the blurring and its dependence on the stencil-substrate gap and the deposition parameters in stencil lithography, a high resolution shadow mask technique, is presented. The blurring is manifested in two ways: first, the structure directly deposited on the substrate is larger than the stencil aperture due to geometrical factors, and second, a halo of material is formed surrounding the deposited structure presumably due to surface diffusion. The blurring is studied as a function of the gap using dedicated stencils that allow a controlled variation of the gap. Our results show a linear relationship between the gap and the blurring of the directly deposited structure. In our configuration, with a material source of ~5 mm and a source-substrate distance of 1 m, we extract that ~10 micrometers of gap...
Nanostructures used in near field optics, material science, and biological applications can easily be realised using Focused Ion Beam (FIB) technique. Using this technique such structures can be written in a single step into substrates without any need of masks, stamps or other additional means. Furthermore, FIB technique enables postprocessing of prefabricated samples. Therefore, it provides a powerful tool for the realisation of sophisticated nanostructures and is particularly adapted for prototyping. Three applications of nanostructures fabricated using FIB technique are presented below.
Stencil lithography is used here for the fabrication of bismuth nanowires using thermal evaporation. This technique provides good electrical contact resistance by having the nanowire structure and the contact pads deposited at the same time. It has also the advantage of modulating nanowires' height as a function of their width. As the evaporated material deposits on the stencil mask, the apertures shrink in size until they are fully clogged and no more material can pass through. Thus, the authors obtain variable-height (from 27 to 95 nm) nanowires in the same evaporation. Upon their morphological (scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy) and electrical characterizations, the authors obtain their resistivity, which is independent of the nanowire size and is the lowest reported for physical vapor deposition of Bi nanowir...
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