Nanolithography on SiO2/Si with a scanning tunnelling microscope

Hiroshi Iwasaki, Tatsuo Yoshinobu, Koichi Sudoh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


This paper gives a brief review of our recent work on a new method of nanoscale pattern formation of thin oxide film on Si substrate by using a scanning tunnelling microscope (STM): A field-emitted electron beam (e-beam) extracted from the STM tip is used for selective removal of the oxide film by e-beam-induced reduction and thermal annealing at moderately high temperatures (300-700 °C). The process is dependent on electron dose and the patterning is controllable by adjusting the emission current and exposure time. One can draw nanoscale open-window patterns directly on oxide-covered Si substrates, e.g. lines and concentric circles of a few tens of nanometres in line width and spacing. Such patterning on the Si oxide layer shows good reproducibility and flexibility of the nanofabrication method, which suggests a further development and application of this method in nanotechnology. The beam profile of the extracted e-beam is measured and the beam-energy dependence of the quantum yield of the process is derived. Based on the excitation function, we consider that the decomposition is activated by core-level excitations as is the Knotek-Feibelman mechanism. One can also make use of this technique to diagnose the Si/SiO2 interface topography on a sub-nanometre scale.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)R55-R62
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Nov
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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