As device sizes are scaled down nearly to their atomic limits, the development of economically viable methods which may continue to improve device performance in accordance with Moore’s Law becomes ever more challenging. The recently developed technique of Electroplate-and-Lift (E&L) lithography promises to be an inexpensive, widely applicable method for the reproducible, controlled fabrication of micro- and nanostructures. In this study, E&L is applied to the fabrication of patterned copper micro- and nanowires as a model system. Copper wires with diameters ranging from 10 m to 200 nm have been produced using a single ultrananocrystalline diamond (UNCD)TM template, by varying only the electroplating time.
To quantify the relationship between copper wire diameter and deposition time, wires were electroplated at -0.4 V vs. the saturated calomel electrode (SCE) for durations between 2.5 and 160 s, then imaged by optical microscopy and/or scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Images were analyzed by identifying wire segments with ImageJ and examining the statistical distribution of wire diameters using Excel. This analysis verified theoretical predictions of a linear dependence between mean wire diameter and the square root of growth time.