The researchers said TEBAL provides a more dependable method for producing quality versions of such microscopic devices, while also permitting simultaneous, real-time atomic imaging of the devices as they are made.
Traditional techniques for building nanodevices employ electron beam lithography but also require the use of polymers and chemicals. Typical results are closer to 50 nanometers and are rarely as small as 10 nm.
Physics Professor Marija Drndic said "Reliably and consistently fabricating devices at the sub-10-nanometer scale from the top down is generally still challenging, but our technique offers a route to this regime."
The research was published in the journal Nano Letters.