NANO ELECTRIC DISCHARGE MACHINING OF GOLD THIN FILMS WITH A MODIFIED SCANNING TUNNELING MICROSCOPE
Golub, Marcia A.
Gomez, Romel D
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This Master's thesis presents the development of an instrument and a technique to locally ablate solid surfaces using a scanning tunneling microscope and an electrostatic discharge processes. The design and construction of the scanning tunneling microscope inside the scanning electron microscope along with the designs of the control electronics are reported. Several methods of surface modification are investigated, namely mechanical contact and near-surface discharge in air and vacuum. Images of gold and graphite surfaces in air and vacuum, and feature formation using electrostatic discharge in air and vacuum are discussed. Analysis of the relationship between energy of the discharge and feature's size is presented, along with a discussion of the geometrical characteristics of the features.