A direct-write laser system and an atomic force microscope (AFM) are combined to modify thin layers of aluminum on an oxidized silicon substrate, in order to fabricate conducting and robust etch masks with submicron features. These masks are very well suited for the production of nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) by reactive ion etching. In particular, the laser-modified areas can be subsequently locally oxidized by AFM and the oxidized regions can be selectively removed by chemical etching. This provides a straightforward means to define the overall conducting structure of a device by laser writing, and to perform submicron modifications by AFM oxidation. The mask fabrication for a nanoscale suspended resonator bridge is used to illustrate the advantages of this combined technique for NEMS. (C) 1999 American Institute of Physics. [S0003-6951(99)00221-1].
Bibliographical noteCopyright (1999) American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics.