Fabrication of Atomic-Scale Structures on Si(001) Surfaces

Science  22 Jul 1994:
Vol. 265, Issue 5171, pp. 502-506
DOI: 10.1126/science.265.5171.502


The scanning tunneling microscope has been used to define regular crystalline structures at room temperature by removing atoms from the silicon (001) surface. A single atomic layer can be removed to define features one atom deep and create trenches with ordered floors. Segments of individual dimer rows can be removed to create structures with atomically straight edges and with lateral features as small as one dimer wide. Conditions under which such removal is possible are defined, and a mechanism is proposed.