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Maskless Patterning in Solution Using STM Techniques

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000062301D
Original Publication Date: 1986-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-09
Document File: 1 page(s) / 12K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Melcher, RL: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

The Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM) has recently been described as a useful tool for producing maskless nanometer sized lithography. The fundamental elements of STM utilizing vacuum tunneling have been more fully described in [2, 3]. In these descriptions a vacuum tunneling current flows between a tungsten tip, sharpened to a very small diameter, and a semiconductor or nonconducting surface. A somewhat less exotic use of the basic STM tool permits nanometer patterning in solution via plating and etching mechanisms, again using high current densities that are extremely localized due to the STM tip, but not necessarily under tunneling conditions. Since the tip will be at least partially in the solution, it may require an insulating layer around its circumference to inhibit current spreading in conducting solutions.

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Maskless Patterning in Solution Using STM Techniques

The Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM) has recently been described as a useful tool for producing maskless nanometer sized lithography. The fundamental elements of STM utilizing vacuum tunneling have been more fully described in [2, 3]. In these descriptions a vacuum tunneling current flows between a tungsten tip, sharpened to a very small diameter, and a semiconductor or nonconducting surface. A somewhat less exotic use of the basic STM tool permits nanometer patterning in solution via plating and etching mechanisms, again using high current densities that are extremely localized due to the STM tip, but not necessarily under tunneling conditions. Since the tip will be at least partially in the solution, it may require an insulating layer around its circumference to inhibit current spreading in conducting solutions. For standard plating solutions such as those used to obtain nickel, gold, platinum and copper depositions, ionic currents rather than tunneling currents will be produced, still very localized and by well-known electrochemical and chemical mechanisms: l) deposition via local disproportionation of the solution due to high currents and the accompanying heat, 2) electroless local deposition due to local heating, and 3) electroplating near the limiting current density. All of the above mechanisms are basically thermally driven by local heating, much the same as those in laser- enhanced plating. Electrop...