Surface modification and patterning at the nanoscale is a frontier in science with significant possible applications in biomedical technology and nanoelectronics. Here we show that an atomic force microscope (AFM) can be employed to simultaneously pattern and functionalize hydrogen-terminated silicon (111) surfaces. The AFM probe was used to break Si–H and Si–Si bonds in the presence of reactive molecules, which covalently bonded to the scribed Si surface. Functionalized patches and patterned lines of molecules were produced. Linewidths down to 30 nm were made by varying the force at the tip.

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