The use of masks coming from research field as different as colloids, polymers or nanomaterials is a recently
emerging field. Recent advances in this area have developed a variety of practical routes which have a great potential to
overcome or at least complete the high-cost lithographic techniques. This review focuses on three techniques that try to
reduce to the nanometer range, the size of the mask. The major difference between these procedures is related to the type
of mask used. The first technique is called colloidal lithography, the mask is a monodispersed-beads template. The second
is the block copolymer lithography and the third technique is the nanocrystal lithography, the mask used is a nano-object.
For these three parts, the synthetic routes, the improvements and the applications as well as the limitations will be presented.