Electron-beam patterned self-assembled monolayers as templates for Cu electrodeposition and lift-off

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Self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of 4'-methylbiphenyl-4-thiol (MBP0) adsorbed on polycrystalline gold substrates served as templates to control electrochemical deposition of Cu structures from acidic solution, and enabled the subsequent lift-off of the metal structures by attachment to epoxy glue. By exploiting the negative-resist behaviour of MBP0, the SAM was patterned by means of electron-beam lithography. For high deposition contrast a two-step procedure was employed involving a nucleation phase around −0.7 V versus Cu2+/Cu and a growth phase at around −0.35 V versus Cu2+/Cu. Structures with features down to 100 nm were deposited and transferred with high fidelity. By using substrates with different surface morphologies, AFM measurements revealed that the roughness of the substrate is a crucial factor but not the only one determining the roughness of the copper surface that is exposed after lift-off.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-113
JournalBeilstein Journal of Nanotechnology
Publication statusPublished - 6 Feb 2012


  • Electrochemical nanotechnology
  • Electrodeposition
  • Lithography
  • Metallic nanostructures
  • Self-assembled monolayers
  • Thiols


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