Ion-sculpting of nanopores in amorphous metals, semiconductors, and insulators

George, H. Bola; Hoogerheide, David P.; Madi, Charbel S.; Bell, David C.; Golovchenko, Jene A.; Aziz, Michael J.
June 2010
Applied Physics Letters;6/28/2010, Vol. 96 Issue 26, p263111
Academic Journal
We report the closure of nanopores to single-digit nanometer dimensions by ion sculpting in a range of amorphous materials including insulators (SiO2 and SiN), semiconductors (a-Si), and metallic glasses (Pd80Si20)—the building blocks of a single-digit nanometer electronic device. Ion irradiation of nanopores in crystalline materials (Pt and Ag) does not cause nanopore closure. Ion irradiation of c-Si pores below 100 °C and above 600 °C, straddling the amorphous-crystalline dynamic transition temperature, yields closure at the lower temperature but no mass transport at the higher temperature. Ion beam nanosculpting appears to be restricted to materials that either are or become amorphous during ion irradiation.


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