The technique of field-induced local oxidation with the tip of an atomic force microscope can be used to pattern non-noble metal thin films by creating insulating regions. We have studied the technique (oxide line width, oxidation thickness, etc.) in order to fabricate mesoscopic electronic devices. Ti thin film structures have been patterned as well as more complicated structures where the Ti covers gold islands. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.