Nano letters | 19 Apr 2017
VR Manfrinato, A Stein, L Zhang, CY Nam, KG Yager, EA Stach and CT Black
Patterning materials efficiently at the smallest length scales is a longstanding challenge in nanotechnology. Electron-beam lithography (EBL) is the primary method for patterning arbitrary features, but EBL has not reliably provided sub-4 nanometer patterns. The few competing techniques that have achieved this resolution are orders of magnitude slower than EBL. In this work, we employed an aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscope for lithography to achieve unprecedented resolution. Here we show aberration-corrected EBL at the one nanometer length scale using poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), and have produced both the smallest isolated feature in any conventional resist (1.7 ± 0.5 nm) and the highest density patterns in PMMA (10.7 nm pitch for negative-tone and 17.5 nm pitch for positive-tone PMMA). We also demonstrate pattern transfer from the resist to semiconductor and metallic materials at the sub-5 nanometer scale. These results indicate that polymer-based nanofabrication can achieve features sizes comparable to the Kuhn length of PMMA and ten times smaller than its radius of gyration. Use of aberration-corrected EBL will increase the resolution, speed, and complexity in nanomaterial fabrication.
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