This feature article provides an overview of the recently developed two-step UV-assisted capillary force lithography and its application to fabricating well-defined micro/nanoscale hierarchical structures. This method utilizes an oxygen inhibition effect in the course of UV irradiation curing and a two-step moulding process, to form multiscale hierarchical or suspended nanobridge structures in a rapid and reproducible manner. After a brief description of the fabrication principles, several examples of the two-step UV-assisted moulding technique are presented. In addition, emerging applications of the multiscale hierarchical structures are briefly described. © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2009.