Metal Clusters at Surfaces, 275 (2000)

Application of clusters to the fabrication of silicon nanostructures

in "Metal Clusters at Surfaces", ed. K.H. Meiwes-Broer (Springer Physics, New York, 2000), p. 275
K. Seeger and R.E. Palmer

The field of cluster physics is a relatively young area of science which developed because of the wide range of interesting properties which clusters exhibit. After a period in which these fundamental properties were studied intensively, the possible technological application areas of clusters are now the subject of increased attention. It is difficult to present a comlete picture of all these areas, so this chapter aims first to give a brief overview of some applications of cluster in nanotechnology and then, by way of illustration, to discuss in more detail some processes in which metal clusters are utilised to fabricate silicon nanostructures.

Generally, the role of atomic clusters in nanotechnology can be seen as twofold. On the one hand, cluster can be used as building blocks; for example, to assemble structures such as wires or porous films. On the other hand, one can also see clusters as possible tools in fabrication processes, e.g. as nanometre-scale masks in a plasma etching process (as discussed in detail below), as the etchant itself or as dopants in semiconductors.

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