Scanning Probe Alloying Nanolithography (SPAN)



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



In recent years, nanowires have become increasingly important due to their unique properties and applications. Thus, processes in the fabrication to nanostructures has come a focal point in research. In this research, a new method to fabricate nanowires has been developed. The new technique is called the Scanning Probe Alloying Nanolithography (SPAN). The SPAN was processed using an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) in ambient environment. Firstly, an AFM probe was coated with gold (Au), and then slid on a silicon (Si) substrate. The contact-sliding motion generated a nanostructure on the substrate, instead of wear. Subsequently, careful examination was carried out at the scale relevant to an AFM probe, in terms of physical dimension and electrical conductivity. The measured conductivity value of the generated microstructures was found to be between the conductivity values of pure silicon and gold. Simple analysis indicated that the microstructures were formed due to frictional energy dispersed in the interface forming a bond to sustain mechanical wear. This research proves the feasibilities of tip-based nanomanufacturing. The SPAN process was developed to increase efficiency of the technique. This study also explored the possibility of the applications as a biosensor and a flexible device. This dissertation contains nine sections. The first section introduces backgrounds necessary to understand the subject matter. It reviews current status of the nanofabrication technologies. The basic concepts of AFM are also provided. The second section discusses the motivation and goals in detail. The third section covers the new technology, scanning probe alloying nanolithography (SPAN) to fabricate nanostructures. The fourth talks about characterization of nanostructures. Subsequently, the characterized nanostructures and their mechanical, chemical, and electrical properties are discussed in the fifth section. In the sixth section, the new process to form a nanostructure is evaluated and its mechanism is discussed. The seventh section discusses the feasibility of the nanostructures to be used in biosensors and flexible devices. The conclusion of the research is summarized in the seventh section.