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Friction-induced nanofabrication method to produce protrusive nanostructures on quartz

Chenfei Song1, Xiaoying Li2, Bingjun Yu1, Hanshan Dong2, Linmao Qian1* and Zhongrong Zhou1

Author Affiliations

1 Tribology Research Institute, National Traction Power Laboratory, Southwest Jiaotong University, Chengdu, Sichuan Province 610031, People's Republic of China

2 School of Metallurgy and Materials, The University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:310  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-310

Published: 7 April 2011


In this paper, a new friction-induced nanofabrication method is presented to fabricate protrusive nanostructures on quartz surfaces through scratching a diamond tip under given normal loads. The nanostructures, such as nanodots, nanolines, surface mesas and nanowords, can be produced on the target surface by programming the tip traces according to the demanded patterns. The height of these nanostructures increases with the increase of the number of scratching cycles or the normal load. Transmission electron microscope observations indicated that the lattice distortion and dislocations induced by the mechanical interaction may have played a dominating role in the formation of the protrusive nanostructures on quartz surfaces. Further analysis reveals that during scratching, a contact pressure ranged from 0.4Py to Py (Py is the critical yield pressure of quartz) is apt to produce protuberant nanostructures on quartz under the given experimental conditions. Finally, it is of great interest to find that the protrusive nanostructures can be selectively dissolved in 20% KOH solution. Since the nanowords can be easily 'written' by friction-induced fabrication and 'erased' through selective etching on a quartz surface, this friction-induced method opens up new opportunities for future nanofabrication.