AIP Digital Archive
A prominent theme in inorganic materials research is the creation of uniformly flat thin films and heterostructures over large wafers, which can subsequently be lithographically processed into functional devices. This letter proposes an approach that will lead to thin film topographies that are directly counter to the above-mentioned philosophy. Recent years have witnessed considerable research activity in the area of self-assembly of materials, stimulated by observations of self-organized behavior in biological systems. We have fabricated uniform arrays of nonplanar surface features by a spontaneous assembly process involving the oxidation of simple metals, especially under constrained conditions on a variety of substrates, including glass and Si. In this letter we demonstrate the pervasiveness of this process through examples involving the oxidation of Pd, Cu, Fe, and In. The feature sizes can be controlled through the grain size and thickness of the starting metal thin film. Finally, we demonstrate how such submicron scale arrays can serve as templates for the design and development of self-assembled, nanoelectronic devices. © 2001 American Institute of Physics.
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