As a brand new nanomachining method, the tip-based nanomachining/nanoscratching (TBN) method has exhibited a powerful ability at machining on polymer materials and various structures have been achieved using this approach, ranging from the nanodot, nanogroove/channel, bundle to 2D/3D (three-dimensional) nanostructures. The TBN method is widely used due to its high precision, ease of use and low environmental requirements. First, the theoretical models of machining on polymer materials with a given tip using the TBN method are presented. Second, advances of nanostructures achieved by this method are given, including nanodots/nanodot arrays, a nanogroove/channel, 2D/3D nanostructures and bundles. In particular, a useful approach called the ultrasonic vibration-assisted method introduced to integrate with TBN method to reduce the wear of the tip is also reviewed, respectively. Third, the typical applications of the TBN method and the nanostructures achieved by it are summarized in detail. Finally, the existing shortcomings and future prospects of the TBN method are given. It is confirmed that this review will be helpful in learning about this method and push the technology toward industrialization.
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