A method of patterning a material surface is provided in which an elastomeric stamp having a stamping surface is coated with a self-assembled monolayer forming species having a functional group selected to bind to a particular material, and the stamping surface is placed against a surface of material and is removed to leave a self-assembled monolayer of the species according to the stamping surface pattern of the stamp. Additional stamping steps may be subsequently effected to produce any of a variety of SAM patterns on the surface. Additionally, portions of the material surface that are not coated with a stamped SAM pattern may be filled in with another SAM-forming species. Alternately, portions that are not covered by a SAM layer may be etched or plated. Additionally, an optical switch and other optical devices and elements are provided, comprising articles similar to the inventive stamp.