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Functional nanoparticles may be formed using at least one nano-lithography step. In one embodiment, sacrificial material may be patterned on a multi-layer substrate using an imprint lithography system. The pattern may be further etched into the multi-layer substrate. Functional material may then be deposited on multi-layer substrate and solidified. At least a portion of the functional material may then be removed to provide a crown surface exposing pillars. Pillars may be removed from multi-layer substrate forming functional nanoparticles.