Designing Plasmon Energies by Patterning Silicon at the 1-nm Scale

What is the scientific achievement?

A team of CFN scientists used aberration-corrected electron-beam lithography combined with reactive ion etching to tune the silicon volume plasmon energy by 1.2 eV from the bulk value by patterning at the 1 nm length scale. This degree of adjustment is more than 10 times higher than previous reports of tuning plasmon energies through lithographic quantum confinement.

Why does this achievement matter?

Aberration-corrected electron beam lithography makes possible patterning of materials at near-atomic scales – in this case, to control the optoelectronic properties of silicon. These results were achieved using “conventional” lithography pushed to the limit, which shows that industrial applications may one day implement this approach.

What are the details?

1-nm resolution Si patterning is achieved using aberration-corrected electron-beam lithography (AC-EBL) and reactive ion etching, techniques compatible with Si technology processes, resulting in features with line edge roughness of 1 nm. AC-EBL is also used to tune the Si volume plasmon (VP) energy as a function of nanostructure geometry, demonstrating control of electro-optical properties of nanostructures “by design.”

CFN Capabilities

CFN Electron Microscopy and Nanofabrication facilities were used to perform high-resolution electron-beam lithography with an aberration-corrected STEM.
Publication Reference

V. R. Manfrinato, F.E. Camino, A. Stein, L. Zhang, M. Lu, E.A. Stach, C.T. Black, Patterning Si at the 1 nm Length Scale with Aberration-Corrected Electron-Beam Lithography: Tuning of Plasmonic Properties by Design, Adv. Funct. Mater. 1903429 (2019).

DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201903429

Acknowledgement of Support

This research used resources of the Center for Functional Nanomaterials, which is a U.S. DOE Office of Science Facility, at Brookhaven National Laboratory under Contract No. DE-SC0012704.

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