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Nanotechnology. 2011 Oct 21;22(42):425602. doi: 10.1088/0957-4484/22/42/425602. Epub 2011 Sep 23.

Fabrication of discrete gallium nanoislands on the surface of a Si(001) substrate using a focused ion beam.

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  • 1Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA.


A gallium focused ion beam (FIB) has been used to implant Ga at specific sites on the surface of undoped Si(001) substrates. Upon annealing at 600 °C, discrete nanoscale surface islands form within the FIB patterned regions when the total Ga ion dose, or fluence, is greater than 1.0 × 10(16) ions cm( - 2). The number of islands depends on the size of the irradiated region and a single island can be achieved for a FIB milled region that is 100 nm × 100 nm. The average sizes of the islands were found to range from 24.5 nm when exposed to a total ion dose of 1.2 × 10(16) ions cm( - 2) to 45 nm for a dose of 3.0 × 10(16) ions cm( - 2). We have confirmed that these surface islands are metallic Ga by performing a selective chemical etch that removes the islands and by transmission electron microscopy characterization. These patterned Ga surface templates could serve as nucleation sites for the lateral arrangement of discrete quantum dot structures.

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