Fabrication of metallic nanowires with a scanning tunnelling microscope

N. Kramer, N. Kramer, H. Birk, J. Jorritsma, C. Schönenberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)
126 Downloads (Pure)


A procedure to pattern thin metal films on a nanometer scale with a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) operating in air is reported. A 30 nm film of hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a‐Si:H) is deposited on a 10 nm film of TaIr. Applying a negative voltage between the STM tip and the a‐Si:H film causes the local oxidation of a‐Si:H. The oxide which is formed is used as a mask to wet etch the not‐oxidized a‐Si:H and subsequently, the remaining pattern is transferred into the metal film by Ar ion milling. Metal wires as narrow as 40 nm have been fabricated. Since a‐Si:H can be deposited in very thin layers on almost any substrate, the presented procedure can be applied to structure all kind of thin films on a nanometer scale.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)1325-1327
Number of pages3
JournalApplied physics letters
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • METIS-128898
  • IR-72935

Cite this