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We have demonstrated direct nanoscale transfer printing (nTP) of PdAu lines from a hard mold onto a hard substrate at room temperature without employing any flexible buffer layers or organic adhesion promoters or release agent layers. PdAu was evaporated onto the mold surface, and a Ti layer was deposited on top of the PdAu layer. By pressing the mold against a Si/SiO2 substrate, the PdAu/Ti sandwich structure was directly transferred onto the SiO2 surface. The molds used in these experiments were GaAs/AlGaAs sandwich structures fabricated by molecular beam epitaxy that we cleaved and selectively etched afterwards in order to generate 3-D grating structures with nanometer resolution on their edges. We fabricated positive multiline molds with different aspect ratios, linewidths between 15 and 100 nm, and spacings between lines ranging from 5 to 70 nm. We also fabricated negative single-line molds with a positive supporting structure comprising a single 16-nm-wide groove feature. The experiments revealed that direct hard-on-hard transfer of nanoscale structures from a mold onto a substrate can be used to fabricate PdAu gaps with widths down to 9 nm. We also performed electronic measurements on transfer patterns and demonstrated that transferred structures can be used as electrodes, which are electrically isolated by these gaps. Since isolation characteristics of gaps improved with decreasing gap length, we partitioned longer gap segments into multiple shorter ones by focused ion beam lithography and conventional optical lithography in combination with wet chemical or plasma etching of the mold or the substrate, respectively. In this paper, we give a detailed description of all technological aspects of the developed direct nTP technique, including mold preparation, patterning efficiency, short reduction techniques, and yield.
Date of Publication: Nov. 2009