Abstract:A simple method to enhance atomic force microscopy local oxidation by coating the substrate with a thin layer of gold is reported. The effect of gold coating is demonstrated experimentally by atomic force microscopy oxidation at various thicknesses of gold on Si and InP. Oxide heights reaching 30 nm are easily achieved on silicon at rates 10 times greater than traditional methods. The gold layer is assumed to increase conductance and current during oxidation, thereby reducing decline in growth rates caused by the increasing resistance of the growing oxide layer itself. Improvement in growth rate and height increases with increasing gold thickness up to a maximum height, but beyond that thickness the heights and rates decrease because the gold layer itself becomes a barrier to the migration of oxyions. The presented method is demonstrated to improve the oxidation rate and height on normal and highly resistive substrates, with lower requirements for applied voltage during oxidation.