We studied the formation of locally coated sub-10-nm nanopores fabricated by ion-beam milling and ion-beam-induced deposition (IBID) in a thin silicon nitride membrane. Two typical precursor gases representing conductive ((CH3)(3)Pt(CpCH3). CPC for short) and insulating (tetra ethyl oxysilane, TEOS for short) material deposition are used. Three-dimensional electron tomography, EDX and EELS analysis are used to measure the changes in chemical composition and shape of the pores after their formation and at various stages of pore shrinkage. The formation and shrinkage are shown to be due to a shifting competition between IBID and material sputtering during ion-beam exposure. The chemical distribution at the rim of the nanopore is dependent on the precursor gases used: CPC forms a thin carbon layer with small embedded Pt particles at the top and inner surfaces of the nanopore, whereas TEOS forms SiOxCy with Ga particles dispersed at the rim of the nanopore.
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