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Scanning-probe microscopes (SPM), i.e. the scanning-tunneling and force microscopes, can be used to locally oxidize hydrogen-terminated silicon and hydrogenated amorphous silicon. Because of its reliability and potential for pattern transfer, this lithography process has found great attention and has become a prototype process for SPM nanolithography. The local oxidization can be performed in ambient or ultra-high vacuum (UHV), and it is initiated by strong electric fields, electron impact, or by short-wavelength light. In this article, the progress of this subfield of nanolithography is reviewed. Emphasis will be on the process conducted in humid environments were a fairly solid understanding is emerging. For completeness, important experiments performed in UHV will be discussed briefly. Finally, recent applications of this process te...
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