An attempt has been made to reach the ultimate spatial resolution for electron beam-induced deposition (EBID) using W(CO)6 as a precursor. The smallest dots that have been written have an average diameter of 0.72 nm at full width at half maximum (FWHM). A study of the nucleation stage revealed that the growth is different for each dot, despite identical growth conditions. The center of mass of each dot is not exactly on the position irradiated by the e-beam but on a random spot close to the irradiated spot. Also, the growth rate is not constant during deposition and the final deposited volume varies from dot to dot. The annular dark field signal was recorded during growth in the hope to find discrete steps in the signal which would be evidence of the one-by-one deposition of single molecules. Discrete steps were not observed, but by combining atomic force microscope measurements and a statistical analysis of the deposited volumes, it was possible to estimate the average volume of the units of which the deposits consist. It is concluded that the volume per unit is as small as 0.4 nm3, less than twice the volume of a single W(CO) 6 molecule in the solid phase.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering