Holes with diameters of a few nanometers were drilled in a stainless steel foil using intense electron beams of 2.4 nm nominal probe size from a field-emission electron gun in a high-resolution transmission electron microscope. Drilling experiments were carried out at regions of different foil thicknesses for different durations using three different condenser lens apertures. A better understanding of the mechanisms of nano-hole drilling by nano-probe electron beams has been achieved in this article. It was observed that the drilling process initiates from the bottom surface of a thin region while it initiates from the top surface for a thick region. It is concluded that material removal during nano-hole drilling is mainly by localized vaporization within the foil and drilling progresses through the formation of a row of interconnected nano-voids along the irradiated volume across the foil thickness.
|Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology B: Microelectronics and Nanometer Structures
|Published - 2004 11月
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