Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Engineering - Materials Engineering


Materials Engineering


Richard Savage


Scanning probe microscopy techniques were used to investigate the desorption of hydrogen passivated silicon to form SiO2 etch masks The application of the etch masks were planned on being used to manufacture silicon nanowires. Low concentration hydrofluoric acid was used to passivate the surface. The surface was selectively depassivated by SPM techniques. Scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) were used to create the masks. The STM system used was found to desorb hydrogen from the surface faster than the STM could image and was considered incapable in the configuration investigated. This led to the use of atomic force microscopy (AFM). Using a conductive tip in contact mode, lithography on the passivated surface was performed. The topography of the lithography was compared to similar works and found to be similar in size. The width was found to be 80nm and the thickness 1nm. The depassivated layers were confirmed to be oxide through electronic force microscopy (EFM). Finally, voltages were swept with the tip in contact with the surface to find the bandgap of the oxide. It was found that the voltage sweeps were severely modifying the tip along with producing inconsistent desorption thicknesses ranging from 0.2 to 12nm. Despite the results from the voltage sweeps, the lithography procedure performed using the AFM was found to be successful.