Polymer patterning with self-heating atomic force microscope probes

H. Tunc Ciftci, Laurent Pham Van, Bert Koopmans, Oleg Kurnosikov (Corresponding author)

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Abstract

Scanning probe-assisted patterning methods already demonstrated a high degree of capabilities on submicrometer scales. However, the throughput is still far from its potential because of complexity or fragility of the probes for exploiting thermal effects, chemical reactions, and voltage-induced processes in various patterning operations. Here, we present a new approach to thermomechanical patterning by implementing a multitasking atomic force microscopy (AFM) probe: the functionalized planar probes. In this method, we can generate a tunable thermal gradient between the tip and the sample, wherein they remain in the noncontact regime. In principle, the capillary instability provoked by the van der Waals interaction yields a pull-off force toward the tip. Hence, locally rising protrusions form features at any selected position on a polymer surface without any chemical reaction or irreversible transformation. These multitasking probe-integrated AFMs can pave the way for a remarkable freedom in determining the operation regime on submicrometer surface-patterning applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8036-8042
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Volume123
Issue number37
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Sep 2019

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