Directional Photofluidization Lithography for Nanoarchitectures with Controlled Shapes and Sizes

Highly ordered metallic nanostructures have attracted an increasing interest in nanoscale electronics, photonics, and spectroscopic imaging. However, methods typically used for fabricating metallic nanostructures, such as direct writing and template-based nanolithography, have low throughput and are, moreover, limited to specific fabricated shapes such as holes, lines, and prisms, respectively. Herein, we demonstrate directional photofluidization lithography (DPL) as a new method to address the aforementioned problems of current nanolithography. The key idea of DPL is the use of photoreconfigurable polymer arrays to be molded in metallic nanostructures instead of conventional colloids or cross-linked polymer arrays. The photoreconfiguration of polymers by directional photofluidization allows unprecedented control over the sizes and shapes of metallic nanostructures. Besides the capability for precise control of structural features, DPL ensures scalable, parallel, and cost-effective processing, highly compatible with high-throughput fabrication. Therefore, DPL can expand not only the potential for specific metallic nanostructure applications but also large-scale innovative nanolithography.