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[en] Highlights: • A dynamic plowing lithography approach was proposed to fabricate periodic nanostructures on PMMA thin films using an AFM. • A “combination writing” method was proposed to fabricate groove array with a wavelength of 30 nm. • The density of the nanodots fabricated by the combination writing method could be achieved as high as 1.9 × 109 per mm2. - Abstract: The fabrication of periodic nanostructures with a fine control of their dimensions is performed on poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) thin films using an atomic force microscope technique called dynamic plowing lithography (DPL). Different scratching directions are investigated first when generating single grooves with DPL. In particular, the depth, the width and the periodicity of the machined grooves as well the height of the pile-up, formed on the side of the grooves, are assessed. It was found that these features are not significantly affected by the scratching direction, except when processing took place in a direction away from the cantilever probe and parallel to its main axis. For a given scratching direction, arrays of regular grooves are then obtained by controlling the feed, i.e. the distance between two machining lines. A scan-scratch tip trace is also used to reduce processing time and tip wear. However, irregular patterns are created when combining two layers oriented at different angles and where each layer defines an array of grooves. Thus, a “combination writing” method was implemented to fabricate arrays of grooves with a well-defined wavelength of 30 nm, which was twice the feed value utilized. Checkerboard, diamond-shaped, and hexagonal nanodots were also fabricated. These were obtained by using the combination writing method and by varying the orientation and the number of layers. The density of the nanodots achieved could be as high as 1.9 × 109 nanodots per mm2.