Navigation Links
Researchers develop new 'stamping' process to pattern biomolecules at high resolution

Fabricating precise biomolecular structures at extremely small scales is critical to the progress of nanotechnology and related fields.

Traditionally, one of the ways this has been accomplished has been through the use of rubber stamps with tiny features similar to those used by children in play, but detailed at the microscopic scale which are covered with molecular "inks" and then stamped onto substrate surfaces, creating a molecular patterns. But when using this technique at the nanoscale, molecules tend to diffuse on the surface both during and after stamping, blurring the patterns.

To address this problem, researchers at UCLA have turned this conventional "soft lithography" process on its head: Instead of using a stamp to transfer molecules onto bare surfaces, they have used chemically treated stamps to remove molecules already in place on gold substrates, essentially peeling away select molecules through chemical bonds to create precise patterns measuring just a few molecules across.

The new process, called chemical lift-off lithography (CLL), results in higher-resolution patterning and avoids the blurring problems of earlier techniques.

The findings are published Sept. 20 in the journal Science. The research was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Kavli Foundation.

The stamp used in the new process is molded by using a "master" made with more sophisticated and expensive tools than those used in making rubber stamps for offices and children, but the stamps can be used over and over again. Between each use, they are simply reactivated by an oxygen plasma.

The chemical bonds formed at the stampsubstrate interface are sufficiently strong to remove not only molecules in the monolayers but also one layer of gold atoms from the substrate. This observation settled a long-running discussion over whether, for such monolayers, goldgold bonds break more easily than moleculegold bonds they do, the researchers found.

The research team was able to fabricate a variety of high-resolution patterned features, and stamps were cleaned and reused many times with little feature deterioration. The remaining monolayer, they found, can act as a resist for etching exposed gold features. The backfilling of new molecules into the lifted-off areas enabled patterned protein capture, and sharp 40 nanometer chemical patterns were achieved.

Led by Anne Andrews and Paul Weiss, the UCLA team represents a collaboration among researchers from UCLA's California NanoSystems Institute, the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, and the departments of chemistry and biochemistry, materials science and engineering, and psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences.

Conventional nanolithographic patterning techniques, such as photolithography and electron-beam lithography, are expensive, time-consuming, require specialized equipment and instrumentation, and have limited capabilities for chemical patterning; here, they only need to be used for the fabrication of stamp master molds.

Once individual masters are produced, CLL is used for high-resolution, high-throughput, low-cost pattern fabrication. This method enables patterns to be transferred to underlying substrates, and multiple-stamping strategies can be used to produce high-fidelity nanometer-scale patterns on gold substrates, with the additional possibility of patterning different materials, such as silicon, germanium, platinum and graphene.

The patterns fabricated demonstrate that CLL not only transfers large-area, high-fidelity patterns, but the postlift-off exposed gold areas are advantageous for producing multiplexed patterned surfaces for selective capture of biomolecules from complex mixtures.


Contact: Jennifer Marcus
University of California - Los Angeles

Related biology news :

1. Study by UC Santa Barbara researchers suggests that bacteria communicate by touch
2. UC Santa Barbara researchers discover genetic link between visual pathways of hydras and humans
3. Researchers attempt to solve problems of antibiotic resistance and bee deaths in one
4. UNH researchers find African farmers need better climate change data to improve farming practices
5. Ottawa researchers to lead world-first clinical trial of stem cell therapy for septic shock
6. Researchers uncover molecular pathway through which common yeast becomes fungal pathogen
7. Researchers print live cells with a standard inkjet printer
8. Columbia Engineering and Penn researchers increase speed of single-molecule measurements
9. Researchers reveal how a single gene mutation leads to uncontrolled obesity
10. Researchers discover novel therapy for Crohns disease
11. New paper by Notre Dame researchers describes method for cleaning up nuclear waste
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/18/2015)... 18, 2015 --> ... new market report titled  Gesture Recognition Market - Global ... - 2021. According to the report, the global gesture recognition market was ... to reach US$29.1 bn by 2021, at a CAGR ... North America dominated the global gesture recognition ...
(Date:11/16/2015)... Calif. , Nov 16, 2015  Synaptics ... of human interface solutions, today announced expansion of ... TouchView ™ touch controller and display driver ... revolution of smartphones. These new TDDI products add ... TD4100 (HD resolution), TD4302 (WQHD resolution), and TD4322 ...
(Date:11/10/2015)... , Nov. 10, 2015  In this ... the basis of product, type, application, disease ... in this report are consumables, services, software. ... are safety biomarkers, efficacy biomarkers, and validation ... report are diagnostics development, drug discovery and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... the year and one of the premier annual events for pharmaceutical manufacturing: 2015 ... 8–11 November 2015, where ISPE hosted the largest number of attendees in more ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015 --> ... "Oligonucleotide Synthesis Market by Product & Services (Primer, Probe, ... DNA, RNAi), End-User (Research, Pharmaceutical & Biotech, Diagnostic Labs) ... market is expected to reach USD 1,918.6 Million by ... CAGR of 10.1% during the forecast period. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... SHPG ) announced today that Jeff Poulton , ... Annual Healthcare Conference in New York City ... (1:30 p.m. GMT). --> SHPG ) announced today that ... Piper Jaffray 27 th Annual Healthcare Conference in ... at 8:30 a.m. EST (1:30 p.m. GMT). --> Shire ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. ... that the remaining 11,000 post-share consolidation (or 1,100,000 ... (the "Series B Warrants") subject to the previously ... November 23, 2015, which will result in the ... effect to the issuance of such shares, there ...
Breaking Biology Technology: