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Dip-Pen Nanolithography

Dip Pen Nanolithography (DPN) is a scanning probe lithography technique where an atomic force microscope tip is used to transfer molecules to a surface via a solvent meniscus. This technique allows surface patterning on scales of under 100 nanometres. DPN is the nanotechnology analog of the dip pen (also called the quill pen), where the tip of an atomic force microscope cantilever acts as a "pen," which is coated with a chemical compound or mixture acting as an "ink," and put in contact with a substrate, the "paper."

DPN enables direct deposition of nanoscale materials onto a substrate in a flexible manner. The vehicle for deposition can include pyramidal scanning probe microscope tips, hollow tips, and even tips on thermally actuated cantilevers. Applications of this technology currently range through chemistry, materials science, and the life sciences, and include such work as ultra high density biological nanoarrays, additive photomask repair, and brand protection for pharmaceuticals.

The technique was discovered in 1999 by a research group at Northwestern University led by Chad Mirkin [1]. The company NanoInk, Inc. holds a patent on Dip Pen Nanolithography, and "DPN" and "Dip Pen Nanolithography" are trademarks or registered trademarks of NanoInk.


  • Piner, R. D.; Zhu, J.; Xu, F.; Hong, S.; Mirkin, C. A. "Dip Pen Nanolithography," Science, 1999, 283, 661-663.
  • Science, 2002, 295, 1702-1705 DOI: 10.1126/science.1067172
  • Dip Pen Nanolithography subgroup at Northwestern University

See also

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Dip-Pen_Nanolithography". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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