Atom lithography of iron

E. Sligte, te

    Research output: ThesisPhd Thesis 1 (Research TU/e / Graduation TU/e)

    148 Downloads (Pure)


    Atom lithography is a technique in which a light field is used to pattern an atomic beam. This patterned flux is then deposited onto a substrate, resulting in a nanostructured thin film. The smallest structures that have been made thus far using this technique are around 30 nm wide. This thesis investigates the technique, expanding its possibilities. The work-horse for the development of atom lithography has been Cr, as this transition metal atom has a closed transition in a wavelength range that is accessible to dye lasers. We extend the technique to Fe, the first ferromagnetic element to be used for atom lithography. The setup that was used to do this experiment is described, along with its critical design parameters. We present nanostructures that are typically 50 nm wide, and up to 4 nm high. The spacing between the nanolines is 186.05 nm. The nanostructure profile is compared to that of a simulated deposition process, and found to match. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first demonstration of direct write atom lithography without laser cooling. A preliminary incursion into the magnetic properties of the nanostructures deposited is presented. In addition to giving an overview of the general ferromagnetic properties that might be expected, a deeper investigation of the magnetic anisotropy of the nanostructures deposited in this experiment is given. Novel resonant light masks are used in an experiment performed at the University of Konstanz (Germany). These light masks, using exactly instead of nearly resonant light, reveal some intriguing quantum mechanical effects. The most important of these features is the possibility to place structures closer together – at quarter wavelength spacings rather than half-wavelength intervals. Finally, the influence of surface diffusion on the structures obtained in an atom lithography experiment is investigated using kinetic Monte Carlo simulations. Several diffusion limiting effects are investigated; the influence of small amounts of residual reactive background gas is found to describe the experimental observations.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • Applied Physics and Science Education
    • van Leeuwen, Ton, Promotor
    • Beijerinck, Herman, Promotor
    Award date9 May 2005
    Place of PublicationEindhoven
    Print ISBNs90-386-2201-5
    Publication statusPublished - 2005

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