Scanning probe lithography describe a set of lithographic methods, in which a microscopic or nanoscopic stylus is moved mechanically across a surface to form a pattern. It uses scanning tunneling microscope (STM) to produce nanometer scale features on a sample.
This type of method can be split in two different groups:
Constructive - In which the patterning is done by directly transferring chemical species to the surface (Dip Pen Nanolithography)
Destructive - In which the patterning is done by providing the substrate with energy (Either mechanical, or thermal, photonic, ionic, electronic, Xrays, and so on and so forth) to physically, chemically, electronically deform the substrate's surface. Examples include nanoimprint lithography and local oxidation nanolithography.
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A lithographic method of obtaining metal nanowires and nanoparticles on solid substrates is proposed, which employs a polymer mask with windows for the metal deposition formed by indentation in an atomic force microscope. Using this method, Ni nanowires with a minimum width of 60 nm, thicknesses within 6–20 nm, and lengths up to 20 μm and Ni nanoparticles with a preset ordered arrangement have been obtained on a SiO2 surface. The domain structure in obtained nanoobjects has been studied by the magnetic force microscopy technique.