Silsesquioxanes are inorganic-organic hybrid materials that combine the mechanical, thermal, and chemical stability of ceramics with the solution processing and flexibility of traditional soft materials. In this review we discuss how these attributes naturally lend themselves to a diverse range of nanoscale patterning applications. In comparison with traditional lithographic resists, the ceramic-like nature of the silsesquioxanes offers many advantages in terms of the mechanical and physical properties that are important for nanoscale patterning media. Beyond just creating physical patterns, silsesquioxanes can also be engineered to exhibit a wide range of functional properties that transcend the notion of resists being used singularly as a sacrificial component to transfer a pattern into functional materials. In this manuscript we will highlight some of the salient chemistries behind these materials that are relevant to nanoscale patterning applications and review the technical applications where patterned silsesquioxanes are being seriously considered.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(11)70019-0