Wednesday, November 07, 2007

US Patent 7291284 - Resist coating using dip pen nanolithography

Scanning probe instruments such as atomic force microscopes and near-field probes have been proposed since the 1980's for a variety of semiconductor manufacturing processes such as etching and curing of resists. Nanoink is a company that is expanding on the capability of scanning probe tools by using a process called dip pen nanolithography (DPN) that is adapted to use the tip of atomic force microscopes to transfer chemical substances with nanoscale line widths to a substrate. This patent seems fairly fundamental and captures the use of DPN in forming resist patterns for high resolution lithography processes. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of nanolithography comprising: providing a substrate and a nanoscopic or SPM tip; using the tip to apply a patterning compound from said tip to the substrate so as to produce a desired pattern which is a chemical etching resist; and chemically etching the substrate.