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Scanning tunneling microscopy has been used to study the electron-induced decomposition of allylcyclopentadienyl palladium [Pd(η3-C3H5)( η5-C5H5)] and subsequent deposition on a Si(111) surface. Deposition occurs via an electron impact mechanism on either the tip or surface, depending on the bias polarity, and is observed with voltages of 2.75 V. This is close to the predicted condensed phase dissociation energy of 2.3 eV for Pd(η3-C3H5)(η5-C5H5)→Pd+C3H5+C5H5. Metallic deposits of nanometer dimensions can be written on the surface. Deposition onto an electrochemically etched tip results in a narrow conductive secondary tip which gives improved spatial resolution when imaging high-aspect ratio features on the surface. ©1994 American Institute of Physics.