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Emerging Methods for Micro- and Nanofabrication

  • Chad A. Mirkin and John A. Rogers

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New methods for micro- and nanofabrication will be essential to scientific progress in many areas of biology, physics, chemistry, and materials science. They will also form enabling technologies for applications ranging from microfluidic devices to micro-optical components to molecular diagnostics to plastic electronics to nanoelectromechanical systems. In many cases, advances will be aided by the highly engineered and spectacularly successful lithographic techniques that are used for microelectronics. These methods have certain drawbacks, however, that will limit their applicability to new devices and fields of study. For example, photolithographies cannot be used with many organic and biological materials due to their chemical incompatibility with typical photoresists and developers; they cannot easily pattern features with dimensions of less than ∼100 nm; they require expensive capital equipment and facilities; they have difficulty forming features on curved, uneven, or rough objects; they can only directly pattern a small set of specialized, photosensitive materials; they cannot reproduce features with complex, three-dimensional (3D) shapes; and they can only pattern small areas in a single step. This situation creates a need for research into alternative patterning methods with capabilities that can complement those of photolithography and other established approaches.

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Emerging Methods for Micro- and Nanofabrication

  • Chad A. Mirkin and John A. Rogers

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