American Chemical Society
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High Throughput, High Resolution Enzymatic Lithography Process: Effect of Crystallite Size, Moisture, and Enzyme Concentration

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journal contribution
posted on 2014-12-08, 00:00 authored by Zhantong Mao, Manoj Ganesh, Michael Bucaro, Igor Smolianski, Richard A. Gross, Alan M. Lyons
By bringing enzymes into contact with predefined regions of a surface, a polymer film can be selectively degraded to form desired patterns that find a variety of applications in biotechnology and electronics. This so-called “enzymatic lithography” is an environmentally friendly process as it does not require actinic radiation or synthetic chemicals to develop the patterns. A significant challenge to using enzymatic lithography has been the need to restrict the mobility of the enzyme in order to maintain control of feature sizes. Previous approaches have resulted in low throughput and were limited to polymer films only a few nanometers thick. In this paper, we demonstrate an enzymatic lithography system based on Candida antartica lipase B (CALB) and poly­(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) that can resolve fine-scale features, (<1 μm across) in thick (0.1–2.0 μm) polymer films. A Polymer Pen Lithography (PPL) tool was developed to deposit an aqueous solution of CALB onto a spin-cast PCL film. Immobilization of the enzyme on the polymer surface was monitored using fluorescence microscopy by labeling CALB with FITC. The crystallite size in the PCL films was systematically varied; small crystallites resulted in significantly faster etch rates (20 nm/min) and the ability to resolve smaller features (as fine as 1 μm). The effect of printing conditions and relative humidity during incubation is also presented. Patterns formed in the PCL film were transferred to an underlying copper foil demonstrating a “Green” approach to the fabrication of printed circuit boards.