A new miniaturization protocol is demonstrated using stretching and relaxation of an elastomer substrate. A designed microstructure is formed on the stretched substrate and subsequently becomes miniaturized when the substrate relaxes. More importantly, the miniaturized structures can be transferred onto a new substrate for further miniaturization or can be utilized as stamps for nanolithography of designated materials. As an example of this approach, an elastic mold was first cast from a Si mold containing periodic line arrays of 1.5-μm line width. Upon relaxation, line width is reduced to 240 nm. The new elastomer may be used as stamps for micro- and nanofabrication of materials such as proteins. The polymer surface roughness or wrinkling behavior at nanoscale is found to follow classic stability model in solid mechanics. This observation provides means to design and control the surface roughness to meet specific requirements.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry