Epitaxial metal nanowires in Si/SiO2 masks
As demonstrated by Ichikawa and coworkers ultrathin thermal oxide on silicon surfaces can be structured by electron-beam stimulated thermal desorption in ultra-high vacuum . We apply that technique to bare windows of clean silicon with lateral dimensions down to 10 nm in the oxide layer. Subsequent metal epitaxy leads to the formation of continuous thin metal nanowires in the window areas. Depending on parameters of depostion like material, rate, and temperature these metal deposits exhibit high crystalline order. Metallic contact pads that are put on the substrate via standard lithography in advance enable us to study electronic transport through the wires. In Combining conductivity and STM data on the wire morpholgy, we hope to get a hold on conduction electron scattering at single crystalline defects.