EBL Fabrication of Nanostructures for Cell Studies

Nano- and microscale fabricated structures made of SU-8 and other polymers have been used in research to study biological cell behavior such as mechanotransduction, membrane mechanics, and cellular interactions. However, existing fabrication methods are often limited by resolution, aspect ratio or throughput.

Recent research by Jakob Vinje, Kai Beckwith, and Pawel Sikorkski at the NTNU Nanolab in Norway systematically investigated electron beam lithography patterning of SU-8 on glass substrates. The results demonstrate high-aspect ratio, surface bound nanostructures with height ranging from 100 nm to 4000 nm and with in-plane resolution below 100 nm directly on a transparent substrate.

Patterning on transparent substrates is advantageous for applications in life sciences such as high-resolution optical microscopy.

In the image below (courtesy Jakob Vinje), two height hexagonal SU-8 pillar arrays are superimposed onto each other. The lowest pillars are 1000 nm high with an array pitch of 2 μm, whereas the higher pillars are 3000 nm with a separation of 10 μm.

Image of NTNU two height hexagonal SU-8 pillar arrays

The work was carried out using an STS-Elionix 100kV electron beam lithography system at the NTNU Nanolab, which is part of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).  For more information see the following URL link.