Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors



Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > IBM Scientists Effectively Eliminate Wear at the Nanoscale

Scanning electron micrograph showing no measurable mechanical wear in a vibrating nanotip sliding 750-meters over a polymer surface. The tip measures 500 nanometers in length and only 5 nanometers at its apex. On the left is the original tip, on the right the same tip after the 750-meter wear test. The red line shows the outline of the original tip shape overlayed on an image taken at the end of the experiment. The key to success: A small almost imperceptible vibration of the tip. 

Image courtesy of IBM Research - Zurich
Scanning electron micrograph showing no measurable mechanical wear in a vibrating nanotip sliding 750-meters over a polymer surface. The tip measures 500 nanometers in length and only 5 nanometers at its apex. On the left is the original tip, on the right the same tip after the 750-meter wear test. The red line shows the outline of the original tip shape overlayed on an image taken at the end of the experiment. The key to success: A small almost imperceptible vibration of the tip. Image courtesy of IBM Research - Zurich

Abstract:
Results could lead to new high-precision and high-quality nanomechanical tools in nanofabrication and in the development of next-generations chips

IBM Scientists Effectively Eliminate Wear at the Nanoscale

Zurich, Switzerland | Posted on September 8th, 2009

IBM (NYSE: IBM) scientists have demonstrated a promising and practical method that effectively eliminates the mechanical wear in the nanometer-sharp tips used in scanning probe-based techniques. This discovery can potentially be used in the development of next generation, more advanced computer chips that have higher performance and smaller feature sizes. Scanning probe-based tools could be one approach to extend the capabilities, quality and precision beyond the projected limits of current production and characterization tools.

Scanning probe-based techniques utilize tiny, nanometer-sharp tips borrowed from atomic force microscopy to manipulate nanostructures and devices by scanning or rather sliding in very close proximity over the surface—similar to the way the needle of a record player on a record. Today, these techniques—including for example the well-known atomic force microscope—are established tools for scientists to explore the nanocosmos. Scanning-probe techniques today allow for the highest possible resolution down to the atomic or molecular scale and represent essentially the scientists' "eyes", "ears", "nose", and "hands" as they explore the smallest objects known to mankind.

In the semiconductor industry, these techniques due to their atomic resolution and manipulation capabilities become increasingly attractive for use in the development and manufacturing of next generation chips with ultra-small feature sizes. While small by most standards, today's 40 nm transistors can still shrink further, but it becomes increasingly challenging and costly since the current tools and methods to develop and process the chips out of silicon wafers approach physical limitations for critical chip layers.

"Continued scaling to further increase device performance will require new device architectures, smaller feature sizes and new materials. Tools based on scanning probe technology could become essential for the metrology of future technology nodes as well as for the development, fabrication and characterization of novel nanoscale devices," says IBM Fellow Evangelos Eleftheriou of IBM Research - Zurich.

A key limiting factor for the prospects of large-scale industrial uses of such techniques, however, has been mechanical wear of the sharp tips. Wear resulting from friction between moving parts are inherent to all mechanical processes on the macro- as well as on the nanometer-scale. However, for scanning probe-based technologies, which rely on a nanometer-sharp tip—measuring just five nanometers at its apex—this problem is accentuated. A few cubic nanometers more or less can ruin the sensitivity of the tip. "In future industrial applications such as large area characterization of the features on a silicon wafer, a tip would need to be able to slide tens of kilometers or miles without replacement," explains IBM scientist Mark Lantz. In the currently used scanning modes, the tip wears out after a few meters or yards. "Moreover, in addition to causing wear of the tip, friction can potentially also do damage to the surface being characterized."

In their paper, published in the September issue of Nature Nanotechnology, IBM scientists solve this challenge by "demonstrating the effective elimination of wear on a tip sliding on a polymer surface over a distance of 750 meters by modulating the force acting on the tip-sample contact." By applying an AC voltage between the cantilever—the mechanical arms on which the tips are attached and over which they are controlled—and the sample surface, the cantilever can be excited at high frequencies of one Megahertz. The cantilever bends and the tip vibrates with an almost imperceptible estimated amplitude of one nanometer. "Though vanishingly small, it is this vibration that greatly reduces friction and "effectively" eliminates—to below the detection limit corresponding to the remarkable low number of losing one atom per meter—tip wear under experimental conditions," states Bernd Gotsmann of IBM Research - Zurich. After the 750-meter wear test, which took a week of continuous operation, the tip was still operating flawlessly.

With the wear problem tackled, researchers at IBM Research - Zurich are now investigating a number of possible applications of scanning probe-based technologies including nanofabrication, nanolithography and high-speed metrology. Operating a large number of tips in parallel would enable, high-throughput, high-speed, automated metrology systems for potential use in chip development and manufacturing. Such metrology systems could characterize device dimensions or identify defects on the structured silicon wafers with much higher precision and accuracy and potentially lower cost than currently available tools. Scientists at IBM Research - Zurich are also investigating powerful scanning probe-based method for high speed patterning of complex two and three-dimensional nanoscale structures.

The scientific paper entitled "Dynamic Superlubricity and the Elimination of Wear on the Nanoscale" by M.A. Lantz, D. Wiesmann, and B. Gotsmann, is published in Nature Nanotechnology, Volume 4, Issue 9 (September 2009).

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Nicole Herfurth
Media Relations
IBM Research GmbH
IBM Research - Zurich
Säumerstrasse 4
8803 Rüschlikon
Switzerland

Tel +41 44 724 8445
Fax +41 44 724 8952

Copyright © http://www.zurich.ibm.com

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Iran Exports Nanodrugs to Syria November 24th, 2014

Iranian Experts Clean Uranium-Contaminated Water by Nano-Particles November 23rd, 2014

Novel Method Found for Connection of Metallic Alloys to Polymers November 23rd, 2014

New research project supports internationalisation in nano-research: Launch of new “Baltic Sea Network” November 22nd, 2014

Possible Futures

A novel method for identifying the body’s ‘noisiest’ networks November 19th, 2014

Researchers discern the shapes of high-order Brownian motions November 17th, 2014

VDMA Electronics Production Equipment: Growth track for 2014 and 2015 confirmed: Business climate survey shows robust industry sector November 14th, 2014

Open Materials Development Will Be Key for HP's Success in 3D Printing: HP can make a big splash in 3D printing, but it needs to shore up technology claims and avoid the temptation of the razor/razor blade business model in order to flourish November 11th, 2014

Chip Technology

Nanometrics Announces Upcoming Investor Events November 19th, 2014

A novel method for identifying the body’s ‘noisiest’ networks November 19th, 2014

Researchers create & control spin waves, lifting prospects for enhanced info processing November 17th, 2014

VDMA Electronics Production Equipment: Growth track for 2014 and 2015 confirmed: Business climate survey shows robust industry sector November 14th, 2014

Nanotubes/Buckyballs

Tesla NanoCoatings Increasing Use of SouthWest NanoTechnologies Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs) for its Infrastructure Coatings and Paints: High Quality SMW™ Specialty Multi-wall Carbon Nanotubes Incorporated into Teslan®-brand coatings used by Transportation, Oil and Gas Companies November 19th, 2014

Graphene/nanotube hybrid benefits flexible solar cells: Rice University labs create novel electrode for dye-sensitized cells November 17th, 2014

SouthWest NanoTechnologies to Demonstrate 3D Capacitive Touch Sensor Featuring Transparent, Thermoformed Carbon Nanotube Ink at Printed Electronics USA 2014 (Booth J25) -- “Conductive and Semiconducting Single-Wall Carbon Nanotube Inks” will be Topic of Company Presentation November 10th, 2014

Neural Canals Produced in Iran for Recovery of Sciatica Nerve November 8th, 2014

Nanoelectronics

Leti Will Present 17 Papers at 2014 IEDM; the Highest-ever Total Includes Four Invited Papers: Institute also Will Present its Latest Results in Key Technologies and Its Roadmap for Silicon Nano-technologies at Workshop November 13th, 2014

Breakthrough in molecular electronics paves the way for DNA-based computer circuits in the future: DNA-based programmable circuits could be more sophisticated, cheaper and simpler to make October 27th, 2014

NIST offers electronics industry 2 ways to snoop on self-organizing molecules October 22nd, 2014

Materials for the next generation of electronics and photovoltaics: MacArthur Fellow develops new uses for carbon nanotubes October 21st, 2014

Discoveries

Iranian Experts Clean Uranium-Contaminated Water by Nano-Particles November 23rd, 2014

Novel Method Found for Connection of Metallic Alloys to Polymers November 23rd, 2014

NMTI announces breakthrough solutions for HAMR nanoantenna for next-generation ultra-high density magnetic storage November 21st, 2014

Nano Sorbents Able to Remove Pollutions Caused by Oil Derivatives November 20th, 2014

Announcements

Iran Exports Nanodrugs to Syria November 24th, 2014

Iranian Experts Clean Uranium-Contaminated Water by Nano-Particles November 23rd, 2014

Novel Method Found for Connection of Metallic Alloys to Polymers November 23rd, 2014

New research project supports internationalisation in nano-research: Launch of new “Baltic Sea Network” November 22nd, 2014

Tools

Iranian Experts Clean Uranium-Contaminated Water by Nano-Particles November 23rd, 2014

Leica Microsystems Presents Universal Hybrid Detector for Single Molecule Detection and Imaging at SfN and ASCB: Leica HyD SMD - the Optimal Detector for Precise and Reliable SMD data November 20th, 2014

Nanometrics Announces Upcoming Investor Events November 19th, 2014

Field-emission plug-and-play solution for microwave electron guns: To simplify the electron emission mechanism involved in microwave electron guns, a team of researchers has created and demonstrated a field-emission plug-and-play solution based on ultrananocrystalline diamond November 18th, 2014

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More












ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE