E-beam atomic-scale 3-D ‘sculpting’ could enable new quantum nanodevices

E-beam atomic-scale 3-D ‘sculpting’ could enable new quantum nanodevices
Etching graphene flakes. Credit: Georgia Tech Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology

By varying the energy and dose of tightly focused electron beams, researchers have demonstrated the ability to both etch away and deposit high-resolution nanoscale patterns on two-dimensional layers of graphene oxide. The 3-D additive/subtractive “sculpting” can be done without changing the chemistry of the electron beam deposition chamber, providing the foundation for building a new generation of nanoscale structures.


Based on focused electron beam-induced processing (FEBID) techniques, the work could allow production of 2-D/3-D complex nanostructures and functional nanodevices useful in quantum communications, sensing, and other applications. For oxygen-containing materials such as graphene oxide, etching can be done without introducing outside materials, using oxygen from the substrate.

“By timing and tuning the energy of the electron beam, we can activate interaction of the beam with oxygen in the graphene oxide to do etching, or interaction with hydrocarbons on the

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