This Feature Article reviews recent work on an optical technique for fabricating, in a single exposure step, three-dimensional (3D) nanostructures with diverse structural layouts. The approach, which we refer to as proximity field nanopatterning, uses conformable, elastomeric phase masks to pattern thick layers of transparent, photosensitive materials in a conformal contact mode geometry. Aspects of the optics, the materials, and the physical chemistry associated with this method are outlined. A range of 3D structures illustrate its capabilities, and several application examples demonstrate possible areas of use in technologies ranging from microfluidics to photonic materials to density gradient structures for chemical release and high-energy density science.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry