Home > Press > Nanobridges Show Way to Nano Mass Production
Colonnades represent a new way to bring nanotechnology into mass production
Nanobridges Show Way to Nano Mass Production
Champaign, Ill | April 07, 2005
They look like an elegant row of columns, tiny enough for atomic-scale hide-and-seek, but these colonnades represent a new way to bring nanotechnology into mass production.
Nanotechnology, the ability to create and work with structures and materials on an atomic scale, holds the promise of extreme miniaturization for electronics, chemical sensors and medical devices. But while researchers have created tiny silicon wires and connected them together one at a time, these methods cannot easily be scaled up.
"It takes weeks to make one or two, and you end up with different sizes and characteristics," said M. Saif Islam, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, who joined UC Davis from Hewlett-Packard Laboratories in 2004.
Like handmade shoes, every manually assembled nanostructure comes out slightly different. Engineers would rather build devices the way cars or computers are built, with every item as consistent as possible.
While working at the Quantum Science Research group of Hewlett-Packard Laboratories, Islam and colleagues came up with a new approach. Silicon wafers used for building microcircuits are usually polished at one specific angle to the atomic planes of silicon. Instead, the group used a wafer that was polished at a different angle, changing the orientation of silicon atomic planes to the surface. Using a chemical vapor deposition technique, they could then grow identical, perpendicular columns of silicon.
The researchers have used this method to grow "nanobridges" across a gap between two vertical silicon electrodes. The nanobridges are strong, chemically stable and show better electrical properties than previous approaches, Islam said. They could be used for nanosized transistors, chemical sensors or lasers.
Taking the approach a step further, Islam and his colleagues at Hewlett-Packard made sandwiches of silicon and insulator and partly etched away the top layer to create awning-shaped structures of silicon supported by insulator. Silicon columns grown under the awnings form miniature colonnades.
The method allows engineers to combine nanowires of precise length with other silicon structures such as integrated circuits, he said.
At UC Davis, Islam plans to continue work on converting the technology into practical devices. The "nanobridge" technique was reported most recently in the March 2005 issue of the journal Applied Physics Part A. The nanocolonnade work was presented April 1 at the spring meeting of the Materials Research Society in San Francisco.
M. Saif Islam
Electrical and Computer Engineering
UC Davis News Service
Copyright © UC Davis
If you have a comment, please Contact
Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.
The "Tipping Point" February 12th, 2014
UCF Researcher Bringing 3-D TV Back From The Dead February 12th, 2014
Diamond Defect Boosts Quantum Technology February 4th, 2014
Iran to Hold 2nd Prototype Nanotechnology Products Competition January 21st, 2014
Cypress’s TrueTouch® Touchscreen Controllers Compatible with Cima NanoTech’s SANTE® Silver Nanoparticle-Based Touch Sensors: Supporting Designs for Advanced Touch Applications March 5th, 2014
Coupled carbon and peptide nanotubes achieved for the first time: twins nanotubes March 1st, 2014
A potentially revolutionnary material: Scientists produce a novel form of artificial graphene February 15th, 2014
Shining a light on tiny polymer shapes: Visiting graduate student studies high-throughput manufacturing of precisely shaped microparticles February 11th, 2014
Production of New Type of Electrochemical Drug Sensors for Cardiovascular Diseases March 10th, 2014
Colored diamonds are a superconductor’s best friend March 6th, 2014
Nanotracer tester tells about wells: Rice University lab builds rig to evaluate oil, gas wells in fracturing operations February 24th, 2014
Researchers Control Amount of Food Dyes Used in Food, Beverage Using Nanotubes February 23rd, 2014
Two-dimensional material shows promise for optoelectronics: Team creates LEDs, photovoltaic cells, and light detectors using novel 1-molecule-thick material March 10th, 2014
How 19th Century Physics Could Change the Future of Nanotechnology: University of Cincinnati physics researchers have developed a new way of using an old technique that could help build better nanotechnology March 5th, 2014
Google Glass could help stop emerging public health threats around the world February 27th, 2014
Making nanoelectronics last longer for medical devices, 'cyborgs' February 19th, 2014
Iran Applying Nanotechnology in Growing Number of Industries March 10th, 2014
Analysis of Electromagnetic Performance, Coupling of Couple Nanoholes March 10th, 2014
A bright future for optoelectronics: A diode made from a 2D material facilitates novel solar cells March 10th, 2014
Scientists build thinnest-possible LEDs to be stronger, more energy efficient March 10th, 2014