• Scanning force spectroscopy;
  • Surface modification;
  • Surface patterning


Scanning force spectroscopy (SFS) is a powerful tool for investigating surface properties with high precision. Unlike most common spectroscopic techniques, information about local properties can also be obtained from surface areas with nanometer dimensions. This makes SFS a useful investigative tool for small lithographic structures. We apply the continuous recording of force curves to extract valuable information about the local oxidation of a monolayer of n-octadecyltrichlorosilane molecules self-assembled on silicon. The oxidation is carried out while simultaneously recording the force curves during the application of a bias voltage to the tip. The dynamics of the induced surface modifications and changes in the surface properties are followed by analyzing specific spots in the force curves.