Experimental analysis of the stability of electrostatic bits for assisted nano-assembly

Amritanshu Palaria, Eniko T. Enikov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Scanning probe microscopy(SPM)-based nanolithography with injected charges into layered electrets, such as silicon dioxide (SiO2) and silicon nitride, is a promising tool with far-reaching applications, such as controlled nano-assembly of macro-molecules and data storage. Despite its potential, some practical limitations exist. This paper describes an experimental investigation of the process of charging and charge dissipation in SiO2 using an AFM probe tip and surface potential (Kelvin probe) microscopy. The stability of charge bits on hexamethyl disilazane(HMDS)-treated SiO2 under low dielectric constant liquids, fluorocarbon, and benzene has been demonstrated. Results from a numerical simulation of a theoretical charging model, in which the charge traps are assumed to be localized on the silicon/SiO2 interface, are also presented. The charge transport mechanism considered is modified Fowler-Nordheim tunneling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Electrostatics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006


  • AFM
  • Fowler-Nordheim tunneling
  • HMDS
  • Kelvin force microscopy
  • Nano-assembly
  • Solvent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biotechnology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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