Nano Archive

Nanostructure fabrication by ultra-high-resolution environmental scanning electron microscopy

Toth, Milos and Lobo, Charlene J. and Knowles, W. Ralph and Phillips, Matthew R. and Postek, Michael T. and Vladar, Andras E. (2007) Nanostructure fabrication by ultra-high-resolution environmental scanning electron microscopy. NANO LETTERS, 7 (2). pp. 525-530.

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Electron beam induced deposition (EBID) is a maskless nanofabrication technique capable of surpassing the resolution limits of resist-based lithography. However, EBID fabrication of functional nanostructures is limited by beam spread in bulk substrates, substrate charging, and delocalized film growth around deposits. Here, we overcome these problems by using environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM) to perform EBID and etching while eliminating charging artifacts at the nanoscale. Nanostructure morphology is tailored by slimming of deposits by ESEM imaging in the presence of a gaseous etch precursor and by pre-etching small features into a deposit (using a stationary or a scanned electron beam) prior to a final imaging process. The utility of this process is demonstrated by slimming of nanowires deposited by EBID, by the fabrication of gaps (between 4 and 7 nm wide) in the wires, and by the removal of thin films surrounding such nanowires. ESEM imaging provides a direct view of the slimming process, yielding process resolution that is limited by ESEM image resolution (similar to 1 nm) and surface roughening occurring during etching.

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Analytical Science > Microscopy and probe methods
Material Science > Nanofabrication processes and tools
Material Science > Nanostructured materials
ID Code:2293
Deposited By:Anuj Seth
Deposited On:06 Jan 2009 11:11
Last Modified:06 Jan 2009 11:11

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