Fabrication of polymer nanowires via maskless O2 plasma etching

Ke Du, Ishan Wathuthanthri, Yuyang Liu, Yong Tae Kang, Chang Hwan Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we introduce a simple fabrication technique which can pattern high-aspect-ratio polymer nanowire structures of photoresist films by using a maskless one-step oxygen plasma etching process. When carbon-based photoresist materials on silicon substrates are etched by oxygen plasma in a metallic etching chamber, nanoparticles such as antimony, aluminum, fluorine, silicon or their compound materials are self-generated and densely occupy the photoresist polymer surface. Such self-masking effects result in the formation of high-aspect-ratio vertical nanowire arrays of the polymer in the reactive ion etching mode without the necessity of any artificial etch mask. Nanowires fabricated by this technique have a diameter of less than 50 nm and an aspect ratio greater than 20. When such nanowires are fabricated on lithographically pre-patterned photoresist films, hierarchical and hybrid nanostructures of polymer are also conveniently attained. This simple and high-throughput fabrication technique for polymer nanostructures should pave the way to a wide range of applications such as in sensors, energy storage, optical devices and microfluidics systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number165301
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Apr 25


  • hierarchical nanostructures
  • interference lithography
  • plasma etching
  • polymer nanowires

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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