Fabrication of aligned microstructures with a single elastomeric stamp

Joe Tien, Celeste M. Nelson, Christopher S. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

135 Scopus citations


The fabrication of complex patterns of aligned microstructures has required the use of multiple applications of lithography. Here we describe an approach for microfabrication that encodes the two-dimensional spatial information of several photomasks onto a single elastomeric stamp by mapping each photomask onto distinct heights on the surface of the stamp. Pressing the stamp against a surface collapses the topography of the stamp such that each recessed layer contacts the surface in stepwise sequence; the greater the applied pressure, the larger the area of the stamp that contacts the surface. After contact of each new layer with the surface, we use techniques of soft lithography (microcontact printing, microfluidics, and patterning through membranes) to pattern the surfaces that contact the stamp and those that do not with inorganic, organic, or living materials. Microfabrication through the use of multilevel stamps provides a promising alternative to conventional lithography for the construction of multicomponent, aligned surfaces; these structures may find use as components of microfluidic devices or biological patterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1758-1762
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 19 2002
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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