Soft lithography for micro- and nanoscale patterning

Abstract

This protocol provides an introduction to soft lithography—a collection of techniques based on printing, molding and embossing with an elastomeric stamp. Soft lithography provides access to three-dimensional and curved structures, tolerates a wide variety of materials, generates well-defined and controllable surface chemistries, and is generally compatible with biological applications. It is also low in cost, experimentally convenient and has emerged as a technology useful for a number of applications that include cell biology, microfluidics, lab-on-a-chip, microelectromechanical systems and flexible electronics/photonics. As examples, here we focus on three of the commonly used soft lithographic techniques: (i) microcontact printing of alkanethiols and proteins on gold-coated and glass substrates; (ii) replica molding for fabrication of microfluidic devices in poly(dimethyl siloxane), and of nanostructures in polyurethane or epoxy; and (iii) solvent-assisted micromolding of nanostructures in poly(methyl methacrylate).

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Soft lithography for micro- and nanoscale patterning