Laser-Focused Atomic Deposition

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Science  05 Nov 1993:
Vol. 262, Issue 5135, pp. 877-880
DOI: 10.1126/science.262.5135.877


The ability to fabricate nanometer-sized structures that are stable in air has the potential to contribute significantly to the advancement of new nanotechnologies and our understanding of nanoscale systems. Laser light can be used to control the motion of atoms on a nanoscopic scale. Chromium atoms were focused by a standing-wave laser field as they deposited onto a silicon substrate. The resulting nanostructure consisted of a series of narrow lines covering 0.4 millimeter by 1 millimeter. Atomic force microscopy measurements showed a line width of 65 ± 6 nanometers, a spacing of 212.78 nanometers, and a height of 34 ±+ 10 nanometers. The observed line widths and shapes are compared with the predictions of a semiclassical atom optical model.