Realization of an ultra-flat silica surface with angstrom-scale average roughness using nonadiabatic optical near-field etching
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We propose a new method of optical near-field etching where a nonadiabatic process is applied to a synthetic silica substrate using a continuum wave laser (λ=532 nm) with a Cl2 gas source. Because the absorption band edge energy of Cl2 is higher than the photon energy of the light source, we preclude the conventional adiabatic photochemical reaction. An optical near field, generated on the nanometrically rough substrate, induces the nonadiabatic chemical reaction to the Cl2 molecules and thereby selectively etches away the roughness, leaving an ultra-flat synthetic silica surface with a minimum average surface roughness R a of 1.37 Å.
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