Nanosphere lithography is a high throughput procedure that has important implications
for facile, low cost scaling of nanostructures. However, current benchtop experiments have
limitations based on the placement of molecular species that exhibit greater than singlemolecular binding. In addition, reliance upon bottom-up self-assembly of close-packed
nanospheres makes it problematic to resolve images using low-cost light microscopes due to the
spacing limitations smaller in magnitude than light wavelength. One method that is created to
resolve this issue is iterative size reduction (ISR), where repetitive ‘iterative’ processes are
employed in order to increase the precision at which single molecules bind to a given substrate.
ISR enables inherent separation of nanospheres and therefore any subsequent single molecule
binding platforms. In addition, ISR targets and encourages single-molecule binding by
systematically reducing binding site size. Results obtained pursuing iteratively reduced
nanostructures showed that many factors are needed to be taken into consideration, including
functionalization of nanosphere particles, zeta potential, and protonation-buffer reactions.
Modalities used for observation of nanoscale patterning and single-molecule binding included
atomic force microscopy (AFM) and ONI super-resolution and fluorescence microscopy. ISR
was also used in conjunction with zero mode waveguides, which are nanoapertures enabling realtime single molecule observation at zeptoliter volumes. Although current limitations and
obstacles still exist with reproducibility and scalability of ISR, it nonetheless exhibits limitless
potential and flexibility in nanotechnology applications.