As shown in the figure, the sequential controlled patterning of two sub-1 nm dangling bond (DB) wires was performed with atomic precision. The researchers discovered that an optimum set of patterning parameters exists, which enables operators to obtain near-perfect silicon DB lines and align them with near atomic precision in a highly controllable manner.

The group's results indicate that the pattern quality is only weakly dependent on the STM tip apex geometry when the patterning parameters are within the optimum parameter space. This may relax the requirements for atomically reproducible tip apices, which are notoriously difficult to fabricate.

The researchers presented their results in the journal Nanotechnology.