Electron beam induced etching of carbon

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Applied Physics Letters, 2015, 107 (4)
Issue Date:
2015-07-27
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© 2015 AIP Publishing LLC. Nanopatterning of graphene and diamond by low energy (≤ 30keV) electrons has previously been attributed to mechanisms that include atomic displacements caused by knock-on, electron beam heating, sputtering by ionized gas molecules, and chemical etching driven by a number of gases that include N < inf > 2 < /inf > . Here, we show that a number of these mechanisms are insignificant, and the nanopatterning process can instead be explained by etching caused by electron induced dissociation of residual H < inf > 2 < /inf > O molecules. Our results have significant practical implications for gas-mediated electron beam nanopatterning techniques and help elucidate the underlying mechanisms.
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