Revolutionary Discovery Tools

Solving the Most Challenging Problems From Your Desktop

discovery, prototyping, production of nanodevices


Our team has developed a number of massively parallel, cantilever-free scanning probe lithography instruments that can be used for large-area, low-cost, arbitrary surface patterning.  These tools are the first of their kind and enable one to study the chemical consequences of materials miniaturization, opening avenues for nanocombinatorial studies in fields such as cell biology and heterogeneous catalysis, not possible with other methodologies..



Polymer-Pen Lithography (PPL), combines the advantages of DPN with micro-contact printing while eliminating many of the limitations of the two techniques. A typical PPL array is made from an elastomer, which is cured in a Si mold fabricated by photolithography and then mounted on a flat, transparent substrate (glass or quartz).  The array is then coated with an ink of interest and used in a TERA-fab instrument for large area nanopatterning. A typical array is 2.0 x 2.0 inches, and is comprised of as many as 2.80 million pens.

In a PPL experiment, tip-substrate contact force is used to control feature size, thus allowing rapid generation of micro and nanoscale features by varying tip compression. By using the Si master as an inkwell, each of the tips within the array can be coated with different inks allowing for multiplexing.



Beam-Pen Lithography (BPL) combines the advantages of PPL and near-field scanning optical microscopy (NSOM). A typical BPL array is fabricated by coating a traditional PPL array with an opaque metal (i.e. gold) and then opening apertures at the tips of the coated pens. This allows for the generation of arbitrary patterns with features smaller than the wavelength of incident light. Additionally, individual pens can be addressed by using a digital micromirror device (DMD).

This approach uses macroscale features (the base of each pyramid) to control tip addressability, which is notoriously difficult due to the nanoscale dimensions of the tips. Additionally, tip movement allows for arbitrary pattern generation. Importantly, much like PPL, this technique is scalable with as many as hundreds of thousands of tips being individually addressed at once. Furthermore, this approach provides a unique platform for performing high-throughput nano- to macroscale photochemistry in combination with material transport, which is important in chemistry, biology and medicine.


Some Applications


Single Cell Studies


Control the position, shape and intracellular organization of individual cells with nanoprecision to perform high-throughput single-cell studies.



Rapidly Prototype and produce functional nanoelectronic circuts and devices in a mask-free manner.


Biomolecular Nanoarrays

Create highly sensitive, dense nanoarrays of biomolecules, including DNA, peptides, proteins, and carbohydrates, for biosensor applications.


Drug Discovery

Generate highly-multiplexed libraries of molecules and nanomaterials for drug screening applications.



Discover new nanomaterials with desired physicochemical properties 1,000s times faster (e.g. catalytic, optical, or magnetic).



Synthesize and analyze libraries of millions of oligonucleotide, peptide and glycan sequences.

Who's Using TERA-Fab


Northwestern University

University at Buffalo

University of Maryland

The City University of New York

WWU Munster


Hunan University

Chinese Academy of Sciences

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Nanyang Technological University


Shanghaitech University

Nanjing University of Science and Technology