Israel Journal of Chemistry

Ultrahigh vacuum scanning tunneling microscope-based nanolithography and selective chemistry on silicon surfaces

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Nanofabrication on silicon surfaces has been achieved in a manner similar to e-beam/resist technology, in which hydrogen serves as a monolayer resist for exposure by the electron beam from an ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) scanning tunneling microscope (STM). In this scheme, hydrogen is selectively desorbed from Si(100)2×1:H surfaces that have been prepared by atomic hydrogen dosing under UHV background conditions. To remove hydrogen, the tip bias is raised, under feedback control, and then the desired pattern is drawn. Two regimes of hydrogen desorption are observed: at higher energies, above ∼6.0 V, direct electron-stimulated desorption occurs, whereas at lower biases, desorption occurs via a multiple excitation vibrational heating mechanism and exhibits a strong current dependence. Patterning linewidth down to a single dimer row has been achieved in the vibrational heating regime. The selective removal of hydrogen suggests many possibilities for subsequent chemical treatments in which the hydrogen-terminated silicon remains inert. We have performed experiments which demonstrate selective oxidation of, and nitrogen incorporation into, the STM-patterned regions.