Repeatable change in electrical resistance of Si surface by mechanical and electrical nanoprocessing
Nanoscale Research Letters 2014, 9:455 doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-455Published: 31 August 2014
The properties of mechanically and electrically processed silicon surfaces were evaluated by atomic force microscopy (AFM). Silicon specimens were processed using an electrically conductive diamond tip with and without vibration. After the electrical processing, protuberances were generated and the electric current through the silicon surface decreased because of local anodic oxidation. Grooves were formed by mechanical processing without vibration, and the electric current increased. In contrast, mechanical processing with vibration caused the surface to protuberate and the electrical resistance increased similar to that observed for electrical processing. With sequential processing, the local oxide layer formed by electrical processing can be removed by mechanical processing using the same tip without vibration. Although the electrical resistance is decreased by the mechanical processing without vibration, additional electrical processing on the mechanically processed area further increases the electrical resistance of the surface.