Thermal Scanning Probe Lithography

Direct Writing on the Nanoscale

In Thermal Scanning Probe Lithography (t-SPL), the resist is directly evaporated by an ultra-sharp heated scanning probe tip. The heated tip creates high-resolution nanostructures by local sublimation of resists. That way, complex nanostructures can be written and simultaneously inspected. This approach essentially forms the core of the NanoFrazor® operating principle. Standard pattern transfer methods like lift-off or etching then can be applied to the patterned substrates.
This technology first appeared at IBM Research Zurich in the framework of the Millipede memory project, spinning into a new nanofabrication method. The technology is commercially available in the shape of our NanoFrazor® systems Scholar and Explore.
The NanoFrazor® technology represents an alternative to conventional nanolithography methods. It allows both high-resolution patterning and imaging with a resolution of 1 mm/s scan speed. It avoids many problems of other nanolithography techniques – no wet development, no proximity effect corrections, no vacuum is required. The compatibility with any standard pattern transfer process and substrate material opens up a wide range of applications.

Application images


Discover more about the NanoFrazor Explore All-Round Nanofabrication System.


  • Thermal Scanning Probe Lithography System

Thermal scanning probe lithography tool with a direct laser sublimation and grayscale modules, excellent alternative to e-beam lithography tools.

Click to explore the NanoFrazor Scholar Nanofabrication System.


  • Thermal Scanning Probe Lithography System

Table-top thermal scanning probe lithography system with in-situ AFM imaging, compact and compatible with glovebox.

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