Open Access Nano Express

Automatic hammering of nano-patterns on special polymer film by using a vibrating AFM tip

Xiaodong Hong1*, Yongkang Yang2 and You Wang23*

Author Affiliations

1 College of Materials Science and Engineering, Liaoning Technical University, Fuxin, 123000, China

2 Materials Physics and Chemistry Department, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, 150001, China

3 Key Laboratory of Micro-Systems and Micro-Structures Manufacturing, Ministry of Education, Harbin, 150001, China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2012, 7:456  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-456

Published: 13 August 2012


Complicated nano-patterns with linewidth less than 18 nm can be automatically hammered by using atomic force microscopy (AFM) tip in tapping mode with high speed. In this study, the special sample was thin poly(styrene-ethylene/butylenes-styrene) (SEBS) block copolymer film with hexagonal spherical microstructures. An ordinary silicon tip was used as a nano-hammer, and the entire hammering process is controlled by a computer program. Experimental results demonstrate that such structure-tailored thin films enable AFM tip hammering to be performed on their surfaces. Both imprinted and embossed nano-patterns can be generated by using a vibrating tip with a larger tapping load and by using a predefined program to control the route of tip movement as it passes over the sample’s surface. Specific details for the fabrication of structure-tailored SEBS film and the theory for auto-hammering patterns were presented in detail.

Automatic nanolithography; Atomic force microscopy; Poly(styrene-ethylene/butylenes-styrene)