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Home > News > Nanotech Progress Requires Better Metrology

February 7th, 2008

Nanotech Progress Requires Better Metrology

A major hurdle facing the implementation of nanotechnology is how to probe the electrical properties of nanotransistors or nanomaterials. Although there has been considerable progress in commercially available nanoprobers for use with SEMs and the like, many barriers still exist.

Professor Alain Diebold of the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) at the University at Albany in New York is researching the impact of nanoscale dimensions on the physical properties of materials as part of his wider work in the area of nanoelectronics metrology. As he puts it, "Suppose you wanted to probe a carbon nanotube's electrical properties, be they spintronic properties or traditional conductance properties, or a piece of graphene. These structures are so small that probing their properties remains challenging regardless of the many amazing breakthroughs with nanopositioning equipment." According to Diebold, there is room for further advances. "Can you routinely grab a truly small piece of graphene or a single-wall carbon nanotube to probe it? Many of us here are interested in determining whether that can be done or not."


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