Open Access Nano Express

Maskless and low-destructive nanofabrication on quartz by friction-induced selective etching

Chenfei Song1, Xiaoying Li2, Shuxun Cui1, Hanshan Dong2, Bingjun Yu1 and Linmao Qian1*

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 2013, 8:140  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-140

Published: 27 March 2013


A low-destructive friction-induced nanofabrication method is proposed to produce three-dimensional nanostructures on a quartz surface. Without any template, nanofabrication can be achieved by low-destructive scanning on a target area and post-etching in a KOH solution. Various nanostructures, such as slopes, hierarchical stages and chessboard-like patterns, can be fabricated on the quartz surface. Although the rise of etching temperature can improve fabrication efficiency, fabrication depth is dependent only upon contact pressure and scanning cycles. With the increase of contact pressure during scanning, selective etching thickness of the scanned area increases from 0 to 2.9 nm before the yield of the quartz surface and then tends to stabilise after the appearance of a wear. Refabrication on existing nanostructures can be realised to produce deeper structures on the quartz surface. Based on Arrhenius fitting of the etching rate and transmission electron microscopy characterization of the nanostructure, fabrication mechanism could be attributed to the selective etching of the friction-induced amorphous layer on the quartz surface. As a maskless and low-destructive technique, the proposed friction-induced method will open up new possibilities for further nanofabrication.

Maskless; Nanofabrication; Friction-induced selective etching; Quartz; 81.16.Rf; 68.37.Ps