A new field of technology, near-field photolithography, is proposed. In near-field photolithography, an opaque pattern having a nanoscale resolution is made using a modified scanning tunneling microscope to deposit the opaque material on an electrically conductive material. A transparent sheet of indium tin oxide is patterned with a plurality of opaque copper deposits having a nanoscale resolution. The patterned indium tin oxide is then used as a photolithographic mask in the optical near-field. Near-field resolution is not diffraction limited, and near-field photolithography is able to pattern objects with sub-wavelength resolution. As a result, smaller semiconductor microchips can be manufactured and a new nanotechnology, e.g., nanomachines, can be developed. The scanning tunneling microscope (STM) is used as an "electrochemical paintbrush" to transfer the copper from a massive copper supply to the STM electrode tip and then to the ITO surface without degrading the STM tip.