Report

Complex Patterning by Vertical Interchange Atom Manipulation Using Atomic Force Microscopy

Science  17 Oct 2008:
Vol. 322, Issue 5900, pp. 413-417
DOI: 10.1126/science.1160601

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Abstract

The ability to incorporate individual atoms in a surface following predetermined arrangements may bring future atom-based technological enterprises closer to reality. Here, we report the assembling of complex atomic patterns at room temperature by the vertical interchange of atoms between the tip apex of an atomic force microscope and a semiconductor surface. At variance with previous methods, these manipulations were produced by exploring the repulsive part of the short-range chemical interaction between the closest tip-surface atoms. By using first-principles calculations, we clarified the basic mechanisms behind the vertical interchange of atoms, characterizing the key atomistic processes involved and estimating the magnitude of the energy barriers between the relevant atomic configurations that leads to these manipulations.

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