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The controlled localized bottom-up synthesis of silicon nanowires on arbitrarily shaped surfaces is still a persisting challenge for functional device assembly. In order to address this issue, electron beam and focused ion beam-assisted catalyst deposition have been investigated with respect to platinum expected to form a PtSi alloy catalyst for a subsequent bottom-up nanowire synthesis. The effective implementation of pure platinum nanoparticles or thin films for silicon nanowire growth has been demonstrated recently. Beam-deposited platinum contains significant quantities of amorphous carbon due to the organic precursor and gallium ions for a focused ion beam-based deposition process. Nevertheless, silicon nanowires could be grown on various substrates regardless of the platinum purity. Additionally, p-type doping could be realized with diborane whereas n-type doping suppressed a nanowire growth. The rational utilization of this beam-assisted approach enables us to control the localized synthesis of single silicon nanowires at planar surfaces but succeeded also in single nanowire growth at the three-dimensional apex of an atomic force microscopy tip. Therefore, this catalyst deposition method appears to be a unique extension of current technologies to assemble complex nanowire-based devices.


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