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IEEE Workshop on Microelectronics and Electron Devices (WMED)

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Deep Sub-Wavelength Optical Nanolithography: Going Beyond the Far-Field Diffraction Limit

R. Menon
University of Utah
Salt Lake City, UT, USA


A technique for creating deterministic structural complexity is essential to achieve high functionality at the nanoscale, whether in electronics, photonics, or molecular biology. Scanning-electron-beam lithography (SEBL) is the most widely used method in research, but it has a number of drawbacks. SEBL tends to be slow, expensive, prone to placement errors, and not compatible with organics and biological material. Ideally one would prefer to employ benign photons in the visible or near IR range for patterning that is scalable to large areas. However, the so-called far-field diffraction barrier (first realized by Abbé) limits the smallest feature achievable by wavelength, ? to ~ ?/4. In this presentation, I will describe a technique that circumvents this barrier by means of wavelength-selective photochemistry. I call the technique Absorbance Modulation.1 I will also describe the application of absorbance modulation to scanning-optical nanoscopy.2 Recently, an alternative to absorbance modulation has also been developed that exploits unique combinations of spectrally-selective reversible and irreversible photochemical transitions to potentially achieve single-molecule resolution at low light levels.3


[1] T. L. Andrew, H-Y. Tsai and R. Menon, “Con?ning light to deep sub-wavelength dimensions to enable optical nanopatterning,” Science, 324, 217, 2009

[2] H-Y. Tsai, S. W. Thomas, III, and R. Menon, “Parallel scanning optical nanoscopy with optically confined probes,” Opt. Exp. 18(15), 16015, 2010

[3] N. Brimhall, T. L. Andrew, R. V. Manthena, and R. Menon, "Breaking the far-field diffraction limit in optical nanopatterning via repeated photochemical and electrochemical transitions in photochromic molecules," Phys. Rev. Lett. 107, 205501, 2011





This workshop is receiving technical co-sponsorship support from the IEEE Electron Devices Society.

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