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A Simple Cost-Effective Sputtering-Based Method for Micropatterning and Materials Microstructuring

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Patterning of semiconductors results in the fabrication of micro- and nano-structures, which are desired in modern technologies. Such a patterning is usually realized with the help of e-beam-, high-energy ion-, X-ray- or laser-assisted techniques, which demand expensive equipments. In this work we present a simple cost-effective method realized via a radio-frequency driven magnetron-sputtering head in high vacuum. The target is a silicon wafer masked with metallic grids. If the grid is magnetic, e.g., nickel, it is attracted by the magnetic forces of the magnetron, otherwise, magnetic clamps are used. Soft sputtering conditions, i.e., 30–100 Watts are used and the result is a well-ordered micropatterning of the surface with nicely formed pits the size of which is entirely determined by the grid size and the depth by the sputtering power and time. The pits are monitored with the help of Optical and Atomic Force Microscopy. If the masked micropatterned silicon wafer is then used as a substrate, the pits may be partially filled by a material. As a first example we present square-like Co microstructures. The magnetic signal of these Co microstructures is recorded with the help of a computer-driven magneto-optic Kerr effect home-made magnetometer. This patterned material may be used in magnetic recording technology. More examples include the formation of Cu-microcolumns and Pt film microframeworks. For the latter ones, an etching process is applied to prepare porous silicon networks with photoluminescence, which may be used in optoelectronics.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 September 2010

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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