The “a-Lith Stripper” has been developed by Professor Thomas Anthopoulos and Dr Dimitra Georgiadou as part of the EPSRC Centre’s PLANALITH project.
Adhesion lithography (a-Lith) is a novel patterning technique allowing high yield manufacturing of large aspect ratio (greater than 100000) metal electrode nanogaps. With this innovative method two different metals can be deposited at channel distances shorter than 50 nm. These coplanar electrode structures can then be combined with active materials to give rise to a plethora of nanoscale devices, such as rectifying diodes, ultra-fast photodetectors and nano-LEDs that will pave the way for the opto-electronics of the future.
A key step in nanogap formation is peeling of the adhesive layer off the metal surface, which ultimately determines the quality of the nanogap. The semiautomatic “a-Lith Stripper” machine, shown in operation in this video, was developed to enable the fabrication of nanogap structures over large-area substrates in a controllable manner. The manipulation and automation of key process parameters, such as peeling angle and peeling speed, is the first step towards demonstrating the manufacturing scalability potential of this technique on large-area, arbitrary material (glass, plastic, paper) substrates.
More information on the adhesion lithography technique can be found in Nature Communications: Sub-15-nm patterning of asymmetric metal electrodes and devices by adhesion lithography.