Main content area

Effect of chain length of self-assembled monolayers in dip-pen nanolithography using molecular dynamics simulations

Wu, Cheng-Da, Fang, Te-Hua, Lin, Jen-Fin
Journal of colloid and interface science 2011 v.361 no.1 pp. 316-320
ambient temperature, energy, molecular dynamics
The pattern transfer mechanism of an alkanethiol self-assembled monolayer (SAM) with different chain lengths during the dip-pen nanolithography (DPN) process and pattern characterizations are studied using molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. The mechanisms of molecular transference, alkanethiol meniscus characteristics, surface adsorbed energy, transfer number, and pattern formation are evaluated during the DPN process at room temperature. The simulation results clearly show that the molecular transfer ability in DPN is strongly dependent on the chain length. Shorter molecules have significantly better transport and diffusion abilities between the meniscus and substrate surface, and the transport period can be maintained longer. The magnitude of adsorbed energy increases with chain length, so many more molecules can be transferred to the surface when shorter molecules are used. After deposition, the magnitude of the adsorbed area and pattern height decrease with increasing chain length.