Applied Physics

Thin Metal Lines

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Science  13 Oct 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5490, pp. 235
DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5490.235a

As the dimensions of electronic circuitry shrink, so too does the need to understand the conduction mechanisms of the circuitry itself. Testing conduction behavior on this scale would require the availability of metal wires measuring only several nanometers in diameter and several micrometers in length. However, reproducible fabrication of such wires has been challenging, mainly due to limitations of lateral patterning techniques.

Natelson et al. demonstrate how molecular beam epitaxy, with its ability to grow layers with atomically precise thickness, can be utilized as a robust method for the fabrication of such wires. Cleaving a multilayer structure followed by masking and preferential etching forms a narrow and well-defined trench in the single quantum-well layer, into which the AuPd alloy is deposited by sputtering. This technique offers a test-bed for fabricating and measuring a variety of nanoscale structures. — ISO.

Appl. Phys. Lett.77, 1991 (2000).

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