When it comes to extremely fine, precise features, a scanning electron microscope (SEM) is unrivaled. A focused electron beam can directly deposit complex features onto a substrate in a single step (Electron-Beam-Induced Deposition, EBID). While this is an established technique for gold, platinum, copper and further metals, direct electron beam writing of silver remained elusive. Yet, the noble metal silver promises especially interesting potential applications in nano-optics in information technology. For the first time a team from the HZB and the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA) has successfully realized the local deposition of silver nanocrystals by EBID.
Writing with the electron beam—now in silver