Russian Academy of Sciences have developed a method of nanofabrication using an atom pinhole camera. The technique could produce individual nanostructures down to 30 nm, a size reduction of 10,000 times compared with the original object. Present experimental results show the resolution about 30 nm, but calculations (the theoretical prediction) say that the resolution can be down to about 6 nm.
This is a form of additive lithography that’s competitive with the best of current (subtractive) photolithography. Note that the size of objects capable of being built is getting down into the range of optical antennas, like the nano-goldenrods in this memory formulation.
With the use of an atom pinhole camera they have built an array of identical arbitrary-shaped atomic nanostructures with the minimum size of an individual nanostructure element down to 30 nm on an Si surface. The possibility of 30 nm lithography by means of atoms, molecules and clusters has been shown
One advantage of atom pinhole camera utilization for nanolithographic purposes is its ability to generate images with a huge reduction of the object size— down to ten thousand times. This makes it possible to use masks of a micrometer range of dimensions, and their production presents no major problems.
They have successfully implemented the concept of an atom pinhole camera as a novel tool for atom nanofabrication offering the following merits: (1) it makes possible nanostructures with typical sizes down to 30 nm; (2) the nanostructures can have an arbitrary prearranged shape; (3) the size and form of nanostructures are determined by well-controlled parameters; (4) creation of a large number of identical nanostructures is possible; (5) a variety of materials for nanostructures (atoms, molecules, clusters) is feasible; (6) the method is free from use of chemically selective etching and (7) in the process of nanostructure creation no destruction of the substrate surface happens. Such an approach may find application in the development of metamaterials, calibrating nanostructures for metrological problems, elements for plasmonics, spintronics, MEMS and NEMS and bionanosensors.