Chemical modification of colloidal masks for nanolithography
A method is presented to tune the holes in colloidal masks used for nanolithography. Using a simple wet-chemical method, a thin layer of silica is grown on masks of silica particles. The size of the holes is controlled by the amount of tetraethoxysilane (TEOS) added. More accurate tuning of the hole size is possible in the presence of a calibrated seed dispersion of silica colloids. We demonstrate modified masks that were used to create arrays of metal nanoparticles with a size ranging from 400 nm, for unmodified masks, down to tens of nanometers. The method is easy-to-use, fast, and inexpensive.