Self-Assembled Monolayer Coatings on Nanostencils for the Reduction of Materials Adhesion


  • We thank Mark A. Smithers for SEM images, Albert van den Berg for XPS measurements and Frans Segerink for FIB experiments. The work was supported by the ATOMS project of the EU.


Nanostencils (shadow masks with submicrometer apertures in a thin silicon nitride membrane) are promising tools for the facile one-step generation of nanopatterns of various materials by physical vapor deposition. Evaporation through a shadow mask is accompanied by gradual clogging of the apertures due to adhesion of evaporated material. In order to reduce this effect, nanostencils were coated with alkyl and perfluoroalkyl self-assembled monolayers (SAMs). The formation and properties of SAMs on planar silicon nitride substrates were studied by contact angle goniometry, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and atomic force microscopy (AFM). The SAMs are stable under evaporation of gold at various angles. SAM-coated nanostencils showed considerably less adhesion of gold compared to bare SixNy stencils.