Activation of Surfaces by STM Probe for Electroless Plating
Original Publication Date: 1989-Feb-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-27
The scanning tunneling microscope (STM) can be used for applications relating to maskless micropatterning of a variety of materials, such as photo-electrochemical etching of n-GaAs in aqueous alkaline solutions. Additional applications include the use of a STM probe to provide high local currents to produce local heating of a submerged substrate to enhance local plating and etching for both electro and electrodeless (including electroless) processes, where the local deposition/etching enhancement mechanism is a thermal one. The STM can be used to provide local activation of a surface to permit electroless plating to commence. Since electroless plating is autocatalytic, it requires a surface which permits the chemical reaction via the reducing agent contained within the solution to take place.