• lipids;
  • photonics;
  • microarrays;
  • dip-pen nanolithography;
  • microcontact printing


Nanostructured lipid multilayers on surfaces are a promising biofunctional nanomaterial. For example, surface-supported lipid multilayer diffraction gratings with optical properties that depend on the microscale spacing of the grating lines and the nanometer thickness of the lipid multilayers have been fabricated previously by dip-pen nanolithography (DPN), with immediate applications as label-free biosensors. The innate biocompatibility of such gratings makes them promising as biological sensor elements, model cellular systems, and construction materials for nanotechnology. Here a method is described that combines the lateral patterning capabilities and scalability of microcontact printing with the topographical control of nanoimprint lithography and the multimaterial integration aspects of dip-pen nanolithography in order to create nanostructured lipid multilayer arrays. This approach is denoted multilayer stamping. The distinguishing characteristic of this method is that it allows control of the lipid multilayer thickness, which is a crucial nanoscale dimension that determines the optical properties of lipid multilayer nanostructures. The ability to integrate multiple lipid materials on the same surface is also demonstrated by multi-ink spotting onto a polydimethoxysilane stamp, as well as higher-throughput patterning (on the order of 2 cm2 s−1 for grating fabrication) and the ability to pattern lipid materials that could not previously be patterned with high resolution by lipid DPN, for example, the gel-phase phospholipid 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DPPC) or the steroid cholesterol.