Tuesday, August 04, 2009

US Patent 7569252 - Dip Pen Nanolithography®


The atomic force microscope was originally developed in the 1980's to scan on the nanometer and atomic level but was soon found to be useful to manipulated as well as to detect on the nanoscale. This is a basic patent to Northwestern University with priority going back to 1999 on the process of Dip Pen Nanolithography®, a type of coating process using an ultrasharp tip to transfer nanoscale patterns on a substrate which is being commercialized by NanoInk. Although not the first type of coating process using atomic force microscopes (see US Patent 5,751,683) this patent broadly covers capillary transport of fluid in nanolithography.

Claim 1 reads:

1. A nanolithographic method comprising:

providing a substrate;

providing a tip, wherein the tip is coated with a patterning compound; and

contacting the coated tip with the substrate so that the patterning compound is transported by capillary transport and anchored to the substrate so as to produce a pattern.