Maskless Patterning in Solution Using STM Techniques
Original Publication Date: 1986-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-09
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.