Focused electron beam induced deposition presents a promising technique for the fabrication of nanostructures. However, due to the dissociation of mostly organometallic precursor molecules employed for the deposition process, prepared nanostructures contain organic residues leading to rather low conductance of the deposits. Post-growth treatment of the structures by electron irradiation or in reactive atmospheres at elevated temperatures can be applied to purify the samples. Recently, an in-situ conductance optimization process involving evolutionary genetic algorithm techniques has been introduced leading to an increase of conductance by one order of magnitude for tungsten-based deposits using the precursor W(CO)6. This method even allows for the optimization of conductance of nano-structures for which post-growth treatment is not possible or desirable. However, the mechanisms responsible for the observed enhancement have not been studied in depth. In this work, we identified the dwell-time dependent change of conductivity of the samples to be the major contributor to the change of conductance. Specifically, the chemical composition drastically changes with a variation of dwelltime resulting in an increase of the metal content by 15 at% for short dwell-times. The relative change of growth rate amounts to less than 25 % and has a negligible influence on conductance. We anticipate the in-situ genetic algorithm optimization procedure to be of high relevance for new developments regarding binary or ternary systems prepared by focused electron or ion beam induced deposition.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.