Centers, Industrial Partner Develop Durable Tips for Nanolithography Applications

Achievement date: 

Researchers from the Center for Lighting Enabled Systems & Applications (LESA), an NSF-funded Engineering Research Center (ERC) headquartered at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), and Nanomanufacturing Systems for Mobile Computing and Mobile Energy Technologies (NASCENT), an ERC headquartered at the University of Texas at Austin, are working with Richardson, Texas-based Zyvex Labs to develop a class of durable tips for nanolithography.


Thetips used now are soft and subject to reconfiguration due to weak metal bonding. These tips are critical to the production and manufacturing of nanomaterials and the products that rely on them. Improving the tips will lead to faster innovation, less expensive products, and possibly new applications of nanolithography.


Researchers are applying the new nanowire tip technology to nanometrology, the science of measurement at the nano level, for NASCENT projects, which often focus on technology transfer to industry.

The tungsten tips that were being used by Zyvex Labs, the Centers’ industrial partner on this project, showed significant wear after repeated use. The newly developed tips use GaN, a single crystal with a much stronger bond that can be grown to have a tailored conductivity suitable for nanoscale lithography.