Using metal-coated atomic force microscope (AFM) tips and single-walled carbon nanotube (SWNT) BuckyPaper films, the authors have successfully explored the feasibility of electro-machining (EM) at the nanometer scale. Highly ordered pyrolytic graphite (HOPG) and thin metal films were used as a substrate (workpiece) and metal-coated (Cr/Au) Si AFM tips and BuckyPaper films were used as electrodes. A negative voltage pulse was applied to the AFM tip to fabricate holes as small as 30 nm in diameter on the HOPG surface. Using SWNT BuckyPaper films, the submicron holes were fabricated on a metal surface, demonstrating that SWNTs can work as electrodes.

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