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Evaporative patterning of regular arrays of nanometer-sized metallic features using a mask of colloidal silica particles

J-C Cheang-Wong, L.M. López, E. Reséndiz, U. Morales
Instituto de Física, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, MX

Keywords: particles, ion beam irradiation, nanosphere lithography, patterning


Spherical submicrometer-sized silica particles were deposited as a monolayer onto silicon wafers by means of a spin coater system. This sample is then used as a mask to create regular arrays of nanoscale surface features, such as Ag and Au metallic deposits. Ion beam modified masks were used to tailor the size and arrangement of these deposits on Si substrates as a function of the ion fluence. Indeed, amorphous glassy materials like silicon dioxide can undergo extreme deformations under exposure to high-energy beams, which induce damage and structural changes in solids due to energy losses of MeV heavy ions via ionization events and atomic collisions. After the irradiation the silica particles turned into oblate particles, as a result of the increase of the particle dimension perpendicular to the ion beam and the decrease in the parallel direction. By this way, the mask openings of the silica particle monolayer were modified and a subsequent Ag or Au evaporation allowed the formation of ordered arrays of Ag or Au features, after removal of the silica particles. The size, size distribution and shape of both the silica particles and the array of metallic deposits were determined by scanning electron microscopy.
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