Thermal scanning probe lithography

Edoardo Albisetti
Department of Physics – Polifab
Politecnico di Milano
via G. Colombo 81, 20133 Milano

First, a brief history of thermally assisted scanning probe lithography (t-SPL) [1] will be given. Then, the working principle of t-SPL will be introduced, focusing on its main features in terms of capabilities, advantages and limitations compared to other lithographic techniques.

Then, an overview of the applications of t-SPL will be given, focusing on two types of effects induced by the thermal tip, i.e. material removal and direct material conversion. Among this wide range of applications, three specific cases will be discussed into details: first, the 3D nanopatterning of organic resists to be used as masks for the following pattern transfer [2]. Second, the direct material conversion via nanoscale thermochemical reactions [3], and finally the control of the magnetic properties of thin films via thermally assisted magnetic scanning probe lithography (tam-SPL) [4].

[1]        Howell S T, Grushina A, Holzner F and Brugger J 2020 Thermal scanning probe lithography—a review Microsystems Nanoeng. 6 21

[2]        Pires D, Hedrick J L, De Silva A, Frommer J, Gotsmann B, Wolf H, Despont M, Duerig U and Knoll A W 2010 Nanoscale Three-Dimensional Patterning of Molecular Resists by Scanning Probes Science (80-. ). 328 732–5

[3]        Szoszkiewicz R, Okada T, Jones S C, Li T-D, King W P, Marder S R and Riedo E 2007 High-Speed, Sub-15 nm Feature Size Thermochemical Nanolithography Nano Lett. 7 1064–9

[4]        Albisetti E, Petti D, Pancaldi M, Madami M, Tacchi S, Curtis J, King W P, Papp A, Csaba G, Porod W, Vavassori P, Riedo E and Bertacco R 2016 Nanopatterning reconfigurable magnetic landscapes via thermally assisted scanning probe lithography Nat. Nanotechnol. 11 545–51

Edoardo Albisetti is assistant professor in the Department of Physics of Politecnico di Milano. He obtained his Ph.D. in Physics from Politecnico di Milano, visiting Georgia Institute of Technology-Atlanta as graduate student. He was a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Global postdoctoral fellow at the CUNY Advanced Science Research Center and New York University-New York. Since 2021, he is PI of the ERC Starting Grant B3YOND. His main research interests are in the fields of spintronics and nanoeletronics, focusing on developing and applying advanced methodologies for crafting the physical properties of materials at the nanoscale.