Laser-Focused Atomic Deposition

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The ability to fabricate nanometer-sized structures that are stable in air has the potential to contribute significantly to the advancement of new nanotechnologies and our under-standing of nanoscale systems. Laser light can be used to control the motion of atoms on a nanoscopic scale. Chromium atoms were focused by a standing-wave laser field as they deposited onto a silicon substrate. The resulting nanostructure consisted of a series of narrow lines covering 0.4 millimeter by 1 millimeter. Atomic force microscopy measurements showed a line width of 65 plus minus 6 nanometers, a spacing of 212.78 nanometers, and a height of 34 plus minus 10 nanometers. The observed line widths and shapes are compared with the predictions of a semiclassical atom optical model.

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