Ambient AFM nanoscale oxidation of hydrogen-passivated silicon with conductive-diamond-coated probes

Matthew J. Schmitz*, C. Reagan Kinser, Norma E. Cortes, Mark Hersam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Nanopatterning of H:Si surfaces was performed using conductive BDD-coated Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) probes under ambient conditions. The patterned features exhibited chemical etching behavior characteristic of AFM local oxidation, and inspite of relatively high current flow, oxidation was observed to occur via an electric-field-induced oxidation mechanism during nanopatterning. The oxide rate for biases up to 5 V followed a power-of-time law consistent with space-charge limited growth, while the nanolithographic figures of merit for conductive BDD-coated AFM probes were quantified including patterning at low threshold voltage of 1 V. The results coupled with the high wear resistance of diamond establish conductive BDD-coated AFM probes as promosing candidates for the high-throughput nanopatterning applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2053-2056
Number of pages4
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2007


  • Atomic force microscopy
  • Diamond
  • Nanolithography
  • Nanopatterning
  • Silicon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Biotechnology
  • Medicine(all)


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