Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
The fabrication of new and novel materials contributes to qualitative enhancement of human life. Among the various branches of fabrication, nanolithography is an emerging neoteric fabrication technology. Even though nanofabrication procedures and the techniques can be precisely controlled through various error prevention techniques and algorithms, there is always a probability of human or instrumental error in a fabrication process. Minimization or rectification of errors during the fabrication process would increase the productivity and reduce cost per unit of the fabricated devices. Therefore there is a compelling need for an error rectification system. Compared to the number of techniques available for fabrication using nanolithography, the techniques available for error rectification are very limited. Successful implementation of more error rectification techniques may have a huge impact in device fabrication and manufacturing processes. The main focus our work is the development of a lithographic error rectification system that we named as Polymeric Submicron Editor (POSE). This system is made of submicron "pens" and "erasers" made from flexible polymers. The pens and erasers were made of polydiemethylsiloxane (PDMS) and agarose hydrogel respectively. They are fabricated by template synthesis from anisotropically track etched conical micropores in glass. The polymeric pens mounted to piezoelectric motors were used to deposit and remove submicron patterns driven by diffusion. This entire deposition system is housed on an inverted microscope to optically track and register the area of deposition so that if required it can be erased and rectified by agarose hydrogel erasers and PDMS pens. POSE can deposit, erase and rectify patterns with submicron resolution. Apart from the development of POSE, this process also led to the development of techniques for, (i) two dimensional gradient etching in tracked glass, (ii) mask less photolithography and with tracks etched glass and (iii) polymeric microfabrication which will also be covered in detail in this dissertation
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