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Nanosphere Lithography (NSL)


To ensure a uniform and well controlled separation of GLAD nanostructures, we use nanosphere lithography (NSL), which is a simple and a low cost surface patterning technique. NSL in our lab is used to fabricate two-dimensional (2D) periodic nanoparticles arrays. Because of the shadowing effect during GLAD, nanorods will nucleate on the nanoparticle “seeds” formed by the NSL process providing a uniform and well-separated structure. NSL is based on self-assembly of polystyrene (PS) or silica nanospheres onto a substrate to form a closely packed monolayer or bilayer, which is employed as a deposition mask. Our NSL method involves three principal steps. First, colloidal spheres (Fig. 1) are coated on a substrate via a self-assembly process to form a mono-layer or multilayers. Second, the voids among the spheres are filled with the seed material of choice using normal angle deposition. Finally, the spheres are removed to leave behind a nanostructured pattern, such as nano-rings or dots on the substrate.