Gold-coated scanning probes for direct 'write' of sub-micron metallic structures
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The fabrication and application of new gold-coated scanning probes (SPs) for direct 'write' of sub-micron metallic structures are reported. The SP consists of a base structure made of silicon nitride and a thin gold coating. The tip profile and radius of curvature are tightly controlled in the probe fabrication to ensure a predictable tip-substrate contact. By scanning a fabricated probe on a single crystal silicon surface in an ambient environment, sub-micron gold lines were formed as a result of direct gold material transfer from the SP tip onto the silicon surface, which is believed to be induced by the friction and wear associated with the probe scanning. The Institution of Engineering and Technology.