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We describe a combination of 100-mm wafer scale deep-ultraviolet (DUV) exposure and a microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) process to fabricate silicon nitride membranes with submicrometer apertures to be used as miniature shadow masks or nanostencils. Apertures down to a lateral resolution of 200 nm were made in a 500-nm-thick membrane by DUV exposure and dry plasma etching. The membranes were released by a combination of wet silicon etching using potassium hydroxide (KOH) and dry silicon etching using a plasma process. The millimeter-size stencils were used for single-step, local deposition of metal micro- and nano-patterns without the need for photoresist process steps. We have performed stencil deposition on full wafer scale for micro- and nano-patterns in a variety of metals (e.g. Al, Au, Ni, etc.). Dry under-etching of the nanowires resulted in free-standing cantilevered nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) structures with resonance frequencies in the megahertz range. The resistless method allows us to pattern micrometer and nanometer scale patterns in a single step without any further processing. It is promising for the surface processing of MEMS/NEMS devices having sensitive or fragile surfaces, such as biochips, organic polymer layers, and self-assembled monolayers. (C) 2004 American Vacuum Society.