Whitesides, George M. Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Wolfe, Daniel B. Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Gates, Byron D. Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Love J. Christopher Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
- Master versus replica
- Uses and applications
- Advantages and disadvantages
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
Soft lithography refers to a suite of techniques for replicating patterns of organic molecules or other materials (for example, ceramics or metals) on both planar (flat) and nonplanar (curved) substrates. It is applicable to structures ranging in size from tens of nanometers to centimeters. For most applications, soft lithography uses mechanical processes to transfer organic material by physical contact between a topographically patterned stamp or mold and a substrate. The mechanisms for pattern transfer (molding, embossing, and printing) are more similar to methods used for bulk manufacturing (for example, plastic parts and newspapers) than they are to those used commonly in fabricating microelectronic devices (for example, photolithography or electron-beam lithography, where beams of light or beams of electrons write patterns in polymeric materials). The term “soft” originally came from physics usage where organic materials are known as soft matter. Soft lithography initially referred to the rubbery, organic stamps used to transfer patterns. It now generally refers to both the system used for pattern transfer and to the organic or organometallic materials patterned, regardless of whether a rubber stamp or a hard stamp (usually fabricated of quartz or glass) is used, and has applications in electronics, optics, and biology.
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