Materials Science

Lithography for new materials

When going to small dimensions, material properties change depending on the size and shape. Direct write lithography is a versatile technique for modifying and shaping materials at the nano- and microscale to study and control a wealth of physical properties.

Direct laser lithography can be used to create microscale patterns, structures and textures as well as contacts for electronic devices and measurements. Thermal lithography can do the same on the nanoscale and also directly generate various material modifications by local heating. Moreover, states of matter that are not accessible macroscopically can be reached thanks to ultra-fast heating or cooling, and high local pressure that can be applied with the nanoscale heated tip of the NanoFrazor.


  • Non-invasive lithography
  • Localized heating
  • Temperature control
  • Imaging and metrology

Application images


Excellent electrical contacts to MoS2

Metal contacts with vanishingly small Schottky barriers fabricated using the NanoFrazor on single-layer CVD-grown MoS2. Resulting field-effect transistors retain intrinsic properties of MoS2 and exhibit record on-off ratio.
Courtesy of Prof. Elisa Riedo, NYU, see Nat.Electr.2019

Measure nanowire properties

Single Ni nanowires (horizontal line in the image) with two precisely aligned thermometer structures used to investigate Co-Ni alloy magneto-thermopower and magneto-resistance. Contacts written with previous model of µMLA.
Courtesy of Tim Boehnert, University of Hamburg

Nanoribbon arrays in 2D materials

AFM image of an array of 384 MoS2 monolayer nanoribbons with 18 nm half-pitch and 350 nm length along the zigzag direction. The ribbons were patterned into PPA with the NanoFrazor and etched afterwards. The large electrical contacts were made by optical lithography.
Courtesy to LANES group at EPFL, published by Ryu et al., book chapter 2019


Ferroelectric nanostructures

Heated tip creates ferroelectric PZT nanostructures by local crystallization of an amorphous sol-gel precursor material.
Courtesy to Riedo group at NYU, published by Kim et al. in Adv. Mat. 2011

Quenching of fluorescent supramolecular polymer

Thermal quenching of a thermochromic supramolecular polymer to obtain fluorescence contrast via disaggregation of excimer-forming moieties. The fast heating and cooling rates (106 K/min) with the ultra-sharp NanoFrazor tips enabled the quenching of the fluorescent state.
Courtesy of LMIS1 at EPFL, published by Zimmermann et al. in ACS Appl. Mat. & Int. 9, 2017

Surface Pattern

Microscale columns with flat tops (the tops are 2x2 um) patterned using MLA150. Such patterns can be used to control and modify surface wetting, friction, optical properties, etc.
Courtesy of EPFL Center for Micronanotechnology

Key benefits


  • Thermal conversion

    to generate modifications and new materials locally at the nanoscale.

  • Accurate overlay

    of electrodes onto nanoscale pieces of interesting materials without markers.

  • No clean room required

    high-resolution lithography using interesting materials.

  • Non-invasive lithography

    to preserve exciting properties of sensitive materials that would be lost by irradiation with charged particles or with contact in air (glovebox solutions).




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