Scanning tunneling microscope as a micromechanical tool

McCord, M. A.; Pease, R. F. W.
March 1987
Applied Physics Letters;3/9/1987, Vol. 50 Issue 10, p569
Academic Journal
The need to fashion materials on a submicron scale is now well recognized. In a scanning tunneling microscope we have been able to achieve nanometer scale control of the depth of penetration of the probe into a thin insulating film, and by laterally traversing the probe we have been able to machine away submicron-wide, 20-nm-thick strips of the insulating film without damage to the substrate or probe. This could represent a new approach to ultrafine machining. However, the detailed mechanism of how the tunneling current through the film can be used to control the machining depth is still unclear.


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