Direct writing has recently emerged as a viable alternative to lithography for the fabrication of patterned metallic and semiconducting materials. State-of-the-art tools such as scanning electron beams and scanning probe microscopy have been implemented in direct-write strategies to produce arbitrary and complex patterns in fewer steps, with resolution capabilities as good or better than lithographic approaches. A common thread among many of the strategies is electron-driven chemistry. Here, we review this special class of direct-write techniques, highlighting advances, challenges, and future prospects.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.mattod.2013.04.007