Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Directed Fabrication of Ceramic Nanostructures on Fragile Substrates Using Soft-Electron Beam Lithography (soft-eBL)



Suresh Donthu, Nasim Alem, Zixlao Pan, Shu-you Li, Gajendra Shekhawat, Vinayak Dravid, Kurt D. Benkstein, Stephen Semancik


We demonstrate the use of a facile nanopatterning scheme known as soft-electron beam lithography (soft-eBL) to fabricate and site-specifically position a variety of functional ceramic nanostructures onto fragile substrates: a 75-nm thick electron-transparent silicon nitride membrane and suspended microhotplates with embedded heaters. The patterned nanostructures on nitride membranes can be readily probed with a variety of characterization tools without any post-fabrication sample preparation, allowing observation of the nanostrutures in near-pristine condition. We demonstrate this by characterizing the structural, chemical and optical properties of several ceramic nanostructures patterned on membranes using electron microscopy and surface scanning probe tools such as atomic force microscopy (AFM) and near-field scanning optical microscopy (NSOM). We further demonstrate that such nanostructures, upon integration with MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) microhotplate platforms, can function as gas-sensing elements and we evaluate their sensing performance at mol/mol target analyte concentration levels.
IEEE Transactions on Nanotechnology


chemical sensors, electron-beam lithography, high-resolution lithography, metal oxide, nanotechnology, nanowires


Donthu, S. , Alem, N. , Pan, Z. , Li, S. , Shekhawat, G. , Dravid, V. , Benkstein, K. and Semancik, S. (2008), Directed Fabrication of Ceramic Nanostructures on Fragile Substrates Using Soft-Electron Beam Lithography (soft-eBL), IEEE Transactions on Nanotechnology, [online], (Accessed July 16, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created April 30, 2008, Updated October 12, 2021