Micro scale patterning of solution-derived ceramic thin films directed by self-assembled monolayers

P. G. Clem, N. L. Jeon, Ralph G Nuzzo, D. A. Payne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Self assembled monolayers patterned by microcontact printing have been used in conjunction with sol-gel processing to selectively deposit oxide thin films with micron-scale lateral resolution. This simple, three step process allows ambient, lithography-free patterning of oxide thin films for integrated microelectronics, optoelectronics, and sensor applications. A variety of patterned structures, such as capacitors and waveguides, have been fabricated from LiNbO3, Ta2O5, PbTiO3, and BaTiO3 on technologically important substrates, including Si, Al, Pt, sapphire, and TiN. The technique involves functionalization of substrate surfaces by microcontact printing of octadecyltrichlorosilane (OTS) self-assembled monolayers (SAMs). Sol-gel precursors are then spin-coated on the SAMs-patterned surfaces and heat treated to deposit 20 nm-300 nm amorphous oxide layers. Oxide on derivatized regions is removed with mild polishing, yielding patterned films with features as small as 5μm. For example, data are reported for 80-200 nm Ta2O5 films to demonstrate the potential applications and mechanisms involved. The effects of sol-gel precursor chemistry, heat treatment, and other processing variables are reported. These results suggest unique potential for microfabrication of ceramic thin films using molecular self assembly and low temperature processing of solution-derived thin films.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)521-526
Number of pages6
JournalMaterials Research Society Symposium - Proceedings
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials


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