High-Field Scanning Probe Lithography in Hexadecane: Transitioning from Field Induced Oxidation to Solvent Decomposition through Surface Modification


  • Financial support of this research by NSF (SINAM and EEC-0425914), SRC-DARPA, and the Director, Office of Basic Energy Science, Office of Energy Research and Materials Sciences Division of the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No.'s DE-AC02-05CH11231 and DE-AC03-76SF0098 is acknowledged with thanks. M.R. thanks INTEL for postdoctoral funding through the Materials Sciences Division, LBNL. The authors also thank Professor Calvin F. Quate for many helpful and stimulating discussions.


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High field scanning probe lithography in hexadecane leads to two different chemical reactions depending on surface hydrophilicity. On a hydrophilic surface, oxidation of the sample occurs; a hydrophobic surface, results in solvent decomposition and nanoscale deposition of etch resistant material. The features are characterized with photoelectron emission microscopy and are carbonaceous in nature with a highly cross-linked bonding network. Tone reversal in a fluorinated etch is achieved.