Polymer Imprint Lithography with Molecular-Scale Resolution

We show that small diameter, single-walled carbon nanotubes can serve as templates for performing polymer imprint lithography with feature sizes as small as 2 nm − comparable to the size of an individual molecule. The angstrom level uniformity in the critical dimensions of the features provided by this unusual type of template provides a unique ability to investigate systematically the resolution of imprint lithography at this molecular scale. Collective results of experiments with several polymer formulations for the molds and the molded materials suggest that the density of cross-links is an important molecular parameter that influences the ultimate resolution in this process. Optimized materials enable reliable, repetitive patterning in this single nanometer range.