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Sci Rep. 2018 Jan 8;8(1):32. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-18373-z.

Nitrogen implantation with a scanning electron microscope.

Author information

1
Division of Nuclear Solid State Physics, Felix Bloch Institute for Solid State Physics, Faculty of Physics and Earth Sciences, Universität Leipzig, Linnéstraße 5, D-04103, Leipzig, Germany. sascha.becker@studserv.uni-leipzig.de.
2
Division of Nuclear Solid State Physics, Felix Bloch Institute for Solid State Physics, Faculty of Physics and Earth Sciences, Universität Leipzig, Linnéstraße 5, D-04103, Leipzig, Germany.

Abstract

Established techniques for ion implantation rely on technically advanced and costly machines like particle accelerators that only few research groups possess. We report here about a new and surprisingly simple ion implantation method that is based upon a widespread laboratory instrument: The scanning electron microscope. We show that it can be utilized to ionize atoms and molecules from the restgas by collisions with electrons of the beam and subsequently accelerate and implant them into an insulating sample by the effect of a potential building up at the sample surface. Our method is demonstrated by the implantation of nitrogen ions into diamond and their subsequent conversion to nitrogen vacancy centres which can be easily measured by fluorescence confocal microscopy. To provide evidence that the observed centres are truly generated in the way we describe, we supplied a 98% isotopically enriched 15N gas to the chamber, whose natural abundance is very low. By employing the method of optically detected magnetic resonance, we were thus able to verify that the investigated centres are actually created from the 15N isotopes. We also show that this method is compatible with lithography techniques using e-beam resist, as demonstrated by the implantation of lines using PMMA.

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