Integration of thin-film-fracture-based nanowires into microchip fabrication
One-step device fabrication through the integration of nanowires (NWs) into silicon microchips is still under intensive scientific study as it has proved difficult to obtain a reliable and controllable fabrication technique. So far, the techniques are either costly or stiffer from small throughput. Recently, a cost-effective method based on thin-film fracture that can be used as a template for NW fabrication was suggested. Here, a way to integrate NWs between microcontacts is demonstrated. Different geometries of microstructured photoresist formed by using standard photolithography are analyzed. Surprisingly, a very simple "stripe" geometry is found to yield highly reproducible fracture patterns, which are convenient templates for fault-tolerant NW fabrication. Microchips containing integrated Au, Pd, Ni, and Ti NWs and their suitability for studies of conductivity and oxidation behavior are reported, and their suitability as a hydrogen sensor is investigated. Details of the fabrication process are also discussed.