Microscope Etches Ultrathin Lines

September 24, 2004 | Source: Technology Research News

University of Sheffield researchers have shown that it is possible to achieve electron beam resolution for organic materials using an ultraviolet laser shown through a near-field optical microscope.

The researchers etched 20-nanometer features into a single layer of molecules on a gold surface using 244-nanometer ultraviolet light. The method could be used to make highly miniaturized arrays of proteins and DNA for biological sensors and analyzers.

In principle. the process can be used in fluid, opening the prospect of doing nanoscale photolithography at the same time as fluid flows through a system. This would make it possible to build multi-component molecular structures by flowing appropriate chemicals during the lithography process.