Fabricating mechanically robust polymer structures with nanoscale dimensions is critical for a wide range of emerging technologies. The rigidity of such structures is expected to change as the feature sizes approach the characteristic dimensions of the macromolecules. There is uncertainty in how far this miniaturization can progress before size-dependent material properties compromise performance. However, there are very few experimental techniques to quantify the mechanical properties of such nanostructured materials.This Letter illustrates how Brillouin light scattering (BLS) can be used as a non-contacting metrology to characterize the elastic properties of nanostructures with lateral dimension smaller than 100 nm. Although our analysis shows no deviation from bulk-like properties in structures as small as 88 nm, it demonstrates the possibility of quantifying the elastic properties and their anisotropy in nanostructures using BLS. This metrology might have significant impact on characterization of nanostructures for numerous technologies including semiconductors, optical communications, and photonics.
Citation: Applied Physics Letters
Pub Type: Journals
brillouin light scattering, elastic modulus, lithography, mechanical properties, nanotechnology, phonons