Microcontact Printing of Alkanethiols on Copper and Its Application in Microfabrication

Author

Younan Xia, Enoch Kim, Milan Mrksich, and George M. Whitesides

Journal

chemistry of materials

Publication Date

01/16/1996

Abstract

Microcontact printing (íCP)1 is a convenient technique for generating patterned self-assembled monolayers (SAMs)2 of alkanethiolates on gold1 and silver3 and of alkylsiloxanes on silicon dioxide and glass.4,5 Patterned SAMs of hexadecanethiolate on gold and silver can be used directly as ultrathin resists in selective wet etching to fabricate patterned microstructures of these metals with dimensions of >0.2 ím.1,3,6-9 The present study is a natural extension of this technique, since alkanethiols also form organized monolayers on evaporated films of copper.10 The chemical reactivity of coinage metals increases in the order of Au < Ag < Cu; it is possible to find an etchant that dissolves only Cu but not Ag and Au or only Ag but not Au. For example, aqueous FeCl3 solution, an etchant that is widely used in semiconductor industry to produce printed circuits of copper,11 etches silver and gold very slowly or not at all.3 This ability to carry out “orthogonal etching” offers an opportunity to generate junctions of Cu-Ag, Cu-Au, and Ag-Au by using a multistep procedure that includes metal evaporation, microcontact printing with hexadecanethiol, and selective wet etching.

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