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This article has successfully demonstrated for the first time a chemical reaction induced by a resistive thermal tip. The resulting structures were subsequently imaged by scanning thermal microscopy (SThM) and atomic force microscopy. The thermal conductivity contrast in SThM images suggested that palladium acetate thin film could be decomposed to palladium metal. The resulting palladium metallic features can form down to the substrate and adhere well on the substrate by using thinner precursor palladium acetate film. The effect of control resistance and tip scan rate on resulting features has also been studied. The results obtained indicate the potential application of SThM tip induced chemical reaction in device fabrication. © 1997 American Vacuum Society.