The radiation chemistry of focused electron-beam induced etching of copper in liquids

Sarah K. Lami, Gabriel Smith, Eric Cao, J. Todd Hastings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Well-controlled, focused electron-beam induced etching of copper thin films has been successfully conducted on bulk substrates in an environmental scanning electron microscope by controlling liquid-film thickness with an in situ correlative interferometry system. Knowledge of the liquid-film thickness enables a hybrid Monte Carlo/continuum model of the radiation chemistry to accurately predict the copper etch rate using only electron scattering cross-sections, radical yields, and reaction rates from previous studies. Etch rates depended strongly on the thickness of the liquid film and simulations confirmed that this was a result of increased oxidizing radical generation. Etch rates also depended strongly, but non-linearly, on electron beam current, and simulations showed that this effect arises through the dose-rate dependence of reactions of radical species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11550-11561
Number of pages12
Issue number24
StatePublished - Jun 28 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. CMMI-1538650 and the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in Iraq. This work was performed in part at the University of Kentucky Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering, the University of Kentucky Electron Microscopy Center, and the University of Louisville Micro and Nano Technology Center, members of the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI), which is supported by the National Science Foundation (ECCS-1542164). This work used equipment supported by National Science Foundation Grant No. CMMI-1125998. The authors thank Dr. John Villarrubia of the National Institute of Standards for his assistance with the JMONSEL Monte Carlo simulation code and for very helpful discussions. The authors also thank Professor Kathleen Dunn, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, for providing the electrodeposited copper samples and the University of Kentucky College of Engineering machine shop.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science (all)


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