Nanopores in insulating solid state membranes have recently attracted much interest in the field of probing, characterizing, and manipulating single linear polymers such as DNA/RNA and proteins in their native environment. Here a low cost, fast, and effective way to produce nanostructures such as pyramidal shaped nanopores and nanochannels with dimensions down to about 15 nm in diamond membranes without any need for electron-beam lithography is demonstrated. By use of a catalytic process, anisotropic etching of diamond with self-organized Ni nanoparticles in hydrogen atmosphere at is achieved and possible etching mechanisms are discussed. It is shown that diamond planes with the crystallographic orientation of  are etched slowest with this method.
Anisotropic etching of diamond by molten Ni particles
W. Smirnov, J. J. Hees, D. Brink, W. Müller-Sebert, A. Kriele, O. A. Williams, C. E. Nebel; Anisotropic etching of diamond by molten Ni particles. Appl. Phys. Lett. 16 August 2010; 97 (7): 073117. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.3480602
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