This study introduces a new chemical carving technique as an alternative to existing lithography and etching techniques. Chemical carving incorporates the concept of scanning probe lithography and metal-assisted chemical etching (MaCE). A catalyst-coated probe mechanically scans a Si substrate in a solution, and the Si is chemically etched into the shape of the probes, forming pre-defined 3D patterns. A metal catalyst is used to oxidize the Si, and the silicon oxide formed is etched in the solution; this local MaCE reaction takes place continuously on the Si substrate in the scanning direction of probes. Polymer resist patterning for subsequent etching is not required; instead, scanning probes pattern the oxidation mask directly and chemical etching of Si occurs concurrently. A prototype that drives the probe with an actuator was used to analyze various aspects of the etching profiles based on the scanning speeds and sizes of the probe used. This technique suggests the possibility of forming arbitrary structures because the carving trajectory is formed according to the scan direction of the probes.
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