Replication molds having nanometer-scale shape control fabricated by means of oxidation and etching
A means of accurate control of the curvature radius of molds that are used in nanostructure replication techniques is presented. The local non-uniform growth of SiO2 at regions with high curvature is used to fabricate molds with a curvature radius ranging anywhere between 10 and 250 nm. The mold radius is predicted by numerical simulation as a function of oxidation temperature and time and confirmed by a series of oxidation and etching experiments. The silicon, silicon dioxide, and polymer nanostructures are analyzed by scanning electron microscopy and compared with the theory. Replication into photo-plastic polymer from various sharp and round molds is performed, and their properties are discussed. Our results are useful for designing nanostructures in the area of soft lithography and nanoprobe engineering.