Inclined nanoimprinting lithography for 3D nanopatterning

Zhan Liu, David G. Bucknall, Mark G. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


We report a non-conventional shear-force-driven nanofabrication approach, inclined nanoimprint lithography (INIL), for producing 3D nanostructures of varying heights on planar substrates in a single imprinting step. Such 3D nanostructures are fabricated by exploiting polymer anisotropic dewetting where the degree of anisotropy can be controlled by the magnitude of the inclination angle. The feature size is reduced from micron scale of the template to a resultant nanoscale pattern. The underlying INIL mechanism is investigated both experimentally and theoretically. The results indicate that the shear force generated at a non-zero inclination angle induced by the INIL apparatus essentially leads to asymmetry in the polymer flow direction ultimately resulting in 3D nanopatterns with different heights. INIL removes the requirements in conventional nanolithography of either utilizing 3D templates or using multiple lithographic steps. This technique enables various 3D nanoscale devices including angle-resolved photonic and plasmonic crystals to be fabricated.

Original languageEnglish
Article number225302
Number of pages8
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2011




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