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Enhanced local oxidation of silicon using a conducting atomic force microscope in water

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4 Author(s)
Hilton, A.M. ; Department of Chemistry, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907 ; Jacobson, K.W. ; Lynch, B.P. ; Simpson, G.J.

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A new mechanism for direct-write surface scanning probe lithography is considered based on electrodynamic cavitation in a true liquid environment. Oxide layers grown on Si/SiO2/H2O and Si/SiO2/Au/H2O interfaces reached maximum heights of 130 and 690 nm, respectively. These structures represent a full order of magnitude increase in height over oxides grown in air under similar voltages and time durations, suggesting a unique reaction mechanism. Time-dependent studies indicated that oxide structures generated in water grew by discrete intervals and occasionally grew at a significant distance from the tip, effects that have not been previously reported. The possibility of electrodynamic cavitation-assisting silicon oxide growth under aqueous conditions is considered, potentially opening up opportunities for formation of nanoscale surface structures based on largely underutilized cavitation-induced (e.g., sonochemical) reactions.

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Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B: Microelectronics and Nanometer Structures  (Volume:26 ,  Issue: 1 )