Development of Dip-Pen Nanolithography (DPN) and Its Derivatives

Guoqiang Liu, Michael Hirtz, Harald Fuchs, Zijian Zheng

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Dip-pen nanolithography (DPN) is a unique nanofabrication tool that can directly write a variety of molecular patterns on a surface with high resolution and excellent registration. Over the past 20 years, DPN has experienced a tremendous evolution in terms of applicable inks, a remarkable improvement in fabrication throughput, and the development of various derivative technologies. Among these developments, polymer pen lithography (PPL) is the most prominent one that provides a large-scale, high-throughput, low-cost tool for nanofabrication, which significantly extends DPN and beyond. These developments not only expand the scope of the wide field of scanning probe lithography, but also enable DPN and PPL as general approaches for the fabrication or study of nanostructures and nanomaterials. In this review, a focused summary and historical perspective of the technological development of DPN and its derivatives, with a focus on PPL, in one timeline, are provided and future opportunities for technological exploration in this field are proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1900564
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2019


  • dip-pen nanolithography
  • nanofabrication
  • nanopatterning
  • polymer pen lithography
  • scanning probe lithography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)

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