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Fabrication of periodic nanoscale Ag-wire arrays on vicinal CaF2 surfaces

Lookup NU author(s): Matthias Batzill, Professor Ken Snowdon


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We report the fabrication of 20-50 nm period uniform arrays of 1.7-3.6 nm high, 5-7 nm wide, 500 nm long silver wires on ion-beam polished 4°-miscut CaF2 (111) vicinal surfaces. The wire separation exceeds the substrate mean step separation of 4.5 nm by a factor of 4-10. The arrays are formed under ambient conditions by scanning the tip of an atomic force microscope across a dense (∼1012 clusters/cm2) electron beam evaporated deposit of 3-9 nm diameter, ∼3 nm high Ag-clusters. Such periodic array structures are not formed on cleaved (111) surfaces of CaF2. The wires are oriented along a preferential direction defined by the substrate. We assume this direction corresponds to the mean orientation of the 0.315 nm high surface steps defined by the Ca sublattice of the (111) CaF2 vicinal surface. We propose that the friction force experienced by cluster agglomerates, formed by scanning the tip, increases in a step-wise fashion as further clusters are added to the agglomerate and that this force increases markedly at crystal step edges. Transport of the agglomerate ceases when the friction force exerted by the substrate and other nearby adparticle structures exceeds that exerted on the agglomerate by the microscope tip. At our cluster densities, this is most likely to occur when the cluster agglomerate has grown sufficiently to intersect more than one substrate step.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Batzill M, Sarstedt M, Snowdon KJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Nanotechnology

Year: 1998

Volume: 9

Issue: 1

Pages: 20-29

Print publication date: 01/03/1998

ISSN (print): 0957-4484

ISSN (electronic): 1361-6528

Publisher: Institute of Physics Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1088/0957-4484/9/1/003


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