The fabrication and application of patterned Si(001) substrates with ordered pits via nanosphere lithography
A new scalable approach has been developed for fabricating large-scale pit patterns with controllable periodicity on Si(001) substrates. The fabrication processes start with self-assembling a monolayer of polystyrene (PS) spheres on hydrogenated Si(001) substrates. A novel net-like mask in combination of the Au pattern thermally evaporated in between the PS spheres and the Au-catalyzed SiO 2 around them is naturally formed. After selective etching of Si by KOH solution, two-dimensionally ordered pits with a periodicity equal to the diameter of the PS spheres in the range from micrometers to less than 100 nm can be obtained. The shape of the pits can be modulated by controlling the chemical etching time. Such pit-patterned Si substrates facilitate the formation of ordered Si-based nanostructures, such as ordered self-assembled GeSi quantum dots, by deposition of Ge using molecular beam epitaxy.