Fluorescent self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) are used as dip-pen nanolithography (DPN) substrates for the fabrication of patterns of Ca2+ and Cu2+ ions. The driving force for the transfer of these ions from an atomic force microscopy (AFM) tip to the surface is their complexation to organic ligands on the monolayer. By means of fluorescent surfaces, the patterns can be visualized under a fluorescence microscope. We use a custom-built atomic force fluorescence microscope (AFFM), a combination of atomic force and confocal fluorescence microscopes, to deposit the metal ions onto the sensing SAMs by DPN and to subsequently visualize modulations of fluorescence intensity in a sequential write-read mode.
- Atomic Force Microscopy