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2) Surface Patterning: A New Approach to Lithography


    In the field of lithography, we utilize the selective self-assembly technique of surface patterning with soft-lithography to develop opto-electronic and bio- devices and sensors.  Since a decade ago, self-assembly using alkane thiols and silanes and polyelectrolyte layer-by-layer techniques have become very important alternative tools in lithography technology due to the their relative simplicity and inexpensiveness.  And recently, it was demonstrated that self-assembly and layer-by-layer techniques can be combined (Hammond, P.T. 1994, Macromolecules), resulting also in a dramatic combination of diverse materials: alkane thiols and silanes, polyelectrolytes, colloidal particles, metal and semi-conductor nano particles and coatings, and also bio-materials. 

Devices and sensors may be easily designed for their purposes, but the micro-processing is not always as easy as designing a device.  Hence, this soft-lithography techniques need further detailed investigation by chemical engineers and materials science and engineers due to the complicated phenomena in micro-diffusion and reactions.  Here, my interest lies more in the processing than in the final device, even though the ultimate goal of engineering research is final applications. Cumulatively building up small micro-process technologies step by step can result eventually in significant applications.

Figure 2.  Microprocessing of surface patterning using thiols, polyelectrolytes, colloidal particles, and metal nano-particles and coatings.


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