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Nanoscale Electromolecular Lithography (NEL). Wolfgang Borchardt February 13, 2008. Short Introduction to NEL. New technique , proposed in 2005 by W. Shen , Y. Chen and Q. Pei (UCLA) Nanoscale patterning of resists by using an electric mask

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nanoscale electromolecular lithography nel

Nanoscale Electromolecular Lithography (NEL)

Wolfgang Borchardt

February 13, 2008

short introduction to nel
Short Introduction to NEL
  • New technique, proposed in 2005 byW. Shen, Y. Chen and Q. Pei (UCLA)
  • Nanoscale patterning of resists by using an electric mask
    • mask: metal patterns on an insulative substrate (e.g. glass)
    • Nanoscalemetal patterns fabricated by e-beam and optical lithography or self-assembly
    • electrochemicalpolymerizationin a water solution with 0.2 M pyrrole monomers and 0.15 M KCl
    • voltage pulse with an amplitude of +1.0 V and a duration of 60 s
  • Sources:
  • NSF Nanoscale Science and Engineering Grantees Conference, Dec 12-15, 2005
  • Nanoscale Electromolecular Lithography (NEL) by Yong Chen…
  • APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS 87, 124106 2005
  • Electric lithography by electrochemical polymerization by W. Shen,Y. Chen and Q. Pei, UCLA

Wolfgang Borchardt

1st step
1st step







Wolfgang Borchardt

2nd step
2nd step




Wolfgang Borchardt

3rd step
3rd step

Wolfgang Borchardt

4th step
4th step

Wolfgang Borchardt



SEM image of nanowire patterns


AFM image of nano dot patterns

a) Linearly patterned mask

b) Selectively transferred lines

c) AFM image:

constant voltage applied with different durations

Wolfgang Borchardt

sub 10nm resolution
Sub-10nm resolution?


  • Traditional Self-assembledmonolayers(SAMs):


    • exposure of useful chemical functional groups
    • topographical changes
  • Highly crosslinked 2D-arrays:
    • self-assembledontoelectrodesurfacesinto simple patterns
    • EC-field will break crosslinks
    • „Carving out“ of nanometer-scale regions

Wolfgang Borchardt

advantages disadvantages
Advantages / Disadvantages

+ High-throughput => mass production

+ Scalable

+ Reliable / robust

+ Reduced defect density and improved yield in comparison with the 3D mold and mechanical process used in nanoscale imprint lithography

- Low resolution (>300nm) until now

- Nobody else reporting on this topic

Wolfgang Borchardt


Wolfgang Borchardt