Background: Tribological issues severely confound smooth operation of moving elements in actuators-based miniaturized devices e.g. micro-electro-mechanical systems. At micro/nano scales, surface forces namely adhesion and friction manifest strongly and oppose relative mechanical motion of actuator elements. Topographical modification of sur-faces via surface patterning has emerged as a potential route to mitigate surface forces at small-scales.
Methods: Capillary force lithography is a simple yet robust technique to fabricate polymer nanostructures with varying shapes/sizes. This paper presents a brief review on the capillary force lithography technique, its salient features and tribo-logical performance of nanostructures fabricated by the technique.
Conclusion: Capillary force lithography has several attractive salient features, in particular the ability of the technique to create polymer nanopatterns of varying shapes/sizes without the need for molds with different shapes/sizes. Polymer nanostructures fabricated by the technique effectively reduce surface forces at micro/nano-scales, and are of interest for tribological application in small-scale devices.