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The application of ultrashort voltage pulses between a tool electrode and a workpiece in an electrochemical environment allows the three-dimensional machining of conducting materials with submicrometer precision. The principle is based on the finite time constant for double-layer charging, which varies linearly with the local separation between the electrodes. During nanosecond pulses, the electrochemical reactions are confined to electrode regions in close proximity. This technique was used for local etching of copper and silicon as well as for local copper deposition.
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