Contact printing - bridging nano-lithography with industrial production

Francesco Stellacci

Nano-devices are the wave of the future, but creating them remains an extremely slow process. This project seeks to develop a new method called nano-contact printing, or NCP. If successful, it will enable the quick reproduction of a large number of nano-patterns and nano-devices.

While it would enable the inexpensive production of a large number of nano-devices in a short amount of time, NCP also could be used to produce extremely complex nano-devices. Examples of such devices include DNA sensors, protein analyzers, micro- and nano-fluidics channels, single-electron transistors, optical biosensors, and metallic wires.

With prior Deshpande Center support, this project showed that the printing method works and that all of the predicted advantages are in place. The goal of the current phase is to spin out a new venture based on NCP. The first target market will be the gene chip array market, where NCP could be 10 times more cost-effective than existing technologies.

The technology from this project was spun out into a startup company, Molecular Stamping.