The “a-Lith Peeler” has been developed by Professor Thomas Anthopoulos and Dr Dimitra Georgiadou as part of the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Large-Area Electronics PLANALITH project.
Adhesion lithography (a-Lith) is a novel patterning technique allowing high yield manufacturing of large aspect ratio (greater than 100000) metal electrode nanogaps. With this innovative method two different metals can be deposited at channel distances shorter than 50 nm. These coplanar electrode structures can then be combined with active materials and give rise to a plethora of nanoscale devices, such as rectifying diodes, ultra-fast photodetectors and bright nano-LEDs that will pave the way for the opto/electronics of the future.
A key step of the nanogap formation is the peeling of the adhesive layer/material off the metal surface, which will ultimately determine the quality of the nanogap. The semiautomatic machine, shown in operation in this video, was developed with the aim to enable the fabrication of nanogap structures over large-area substrates in a controllable manner. The manipulation and automation of key process parameters, such as peeling angle and peeling speed, is the first step towards demonstrating the manufacturing scalability potential of this technique on large-area, arbitrary material (glass, plastic, paper) substrates.
More information on the adhesion lithography technique can be found here.