Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors


Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > 'Nano-foundry' technique yields ultra-durable probes from diamond

Abstract:
When a team of university and industry researchers tried a novel, foundry-style mold-filling technique to make nanoscale devices, they realized they had discovered a gem.

Not only did they pioneer a three-dimensional nanoscale fabrication method, they used the process to make ultra-hard, wear-resistant nanoprobes out of a material similar to diamond.

by Renee Meiller

'Nano-foundry' technique yields ultra-durable probes from diamond

Madison, WI | Posted on March 4th, 2010

On a larger scale, materials that look smooth still abrade because of slight irregularities and defects on their surfaces. However, at the nanoscale, atoms rub off one at a time, creating new challenges for researchers who build devices sometimes just tens of atoms wide.

"The effects of friction are important in nanoscale devices and processes, where surface forces such as friction are increasingly dominant due to the high surface-to-volume ratio," says Kumar Sridharan, a distinguished research professor of engineering physics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and member of the research team.

The team, which also included researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and IBM Research-Zurich, published details of its research Jan. 31 in the advance online edition of Nature Nanotechnology.

The advance is key because it demonstrates a method for applying, in a three-dimensional nanoscale application, silicon-containing diamondlike carbon, or Si-DLC. In the study, the researchers showed that Si-DLC, which is prized for its low friction and high wear-resistance at the macroscale, also exhibits similar outstanding wear-resistance at the nanoscale.

"It was not clear that materials that are wear-resistant at the macroscale exhibit the same property at the nanoscale," says lead author Harish Bhaskaran, a former IBM researcher who now is a researcher in the Yale University Department of Electrical Engineering.

Developed by Sridharan, the new "nano foundry" technique easily could scale up for commercial manufacturing.

Using an IBM silicon-on-insulator wafer etched with sharp, pyramid-shaped "molds," Sridharan used Si-DLC to fabricate ultrasharp tips, with a 5 nanometer radius, on standard silicon microcantilevers.

Currently, manufacturers etch the tips out of silicon. However, for the new foundry-style method, Sridharan exploited plasma immersion ion implantation and deposition, a room-temperature process previously used for applying, or "depositing," coatings on implanting ions into other materials. "We've always deposited thin films on materials," he says. "We've looked at it as a two-dimensional surface-modification process."

In three dimensions, the technique works somewhat like the way in which a snowfall blankets the ground. In this case, the "snow" is ionized hexamethyl disiloxane, a liquid precursor to Si-DLC that gasifies in the plasma chamber and ultimately packs neatly into the molds on the IBM wafer. "Our process has allowed us to fill a very sharp tip, very accurately," says Sridharan.

Another advantage is that Si-DLC is an amorphous, rather than crystalline, material. If a crystal is too big, the mold will fill irregularly and limit the tip sharpness. However, an amorphous material can slide atom by atom into the mold, filling it completely, like raindrops into a bucket.

In addition to filling the tip molds completely, Si-DLC also coats the entire wafer. The researchers developed a simple, commercially feasible two-step silicon etching process to release the tip and the integrated cantilever from the wafer.

The tips have applications in atomic-force microscopy, data storage and nanofabrication. In wear tests, in which the researchers slid the tips continuously over a silicon dioxide surface for several days, they found the Si-DLC tips were 3,000 times more wear-resistant than silicon tips. "We've taken a material that's good at the macroscale, we fabricate it at the nanoscale, and we show it's wear-resistant at the nanoscale," says Bhaskaran.

Other authors on the Nature Nanotechnology paper include Bernd Gotsmann, Abu Sebastian, Ute Drechsler, Mark A. Lantz, Michel Despont, Papot Jaroenapibal, Robert W. Carpick, and Yun Chen.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Renee Meiller
(608) 262-2481


Kumar Sridharan
(608) 263-4789


Copyright © University of Wisconsin-Madison

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

Cooling graphene-based film close to pilot-scale production April 30th, 2016

Personal cooling units on the horizon April 29th, 2016

Exploring phosphorene, a promising new material April 29th, 2016

The Translational Research Center at the University Hospital of Erlangen in Germany uses the ZetaView from Particle Metrix to quantify extracellular vesicles such as exosomes April 28th, 2016

Possible Futures

Cooling graphene-based film close to pilot-scale production April 30th, 2016

Personal cooling units on the horizon April 29th, 2016

Exploring phosphorene, a promising new material April 29th, 2016

Hybrid nanoantennas -- next-generation platform for ultradense data recording April 28th, 2016

Academic/Education

JPK reports on the use of a NanoWizard AFM system at the University of Kaiserslautern to study the interaction of bacteria with microstructured surfaces April 28th, 2016

The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute uses the ZetaView from Particle Metrix to study membrane microparticles as potential biomarkers for underlying diseases April 12th, 2016

FEI Partners with Five Pharmaceutical Companies, the Medical Research Council and the University of Cambridge to form Cryo-EM Research Consortium April 5th, 2016

SUNY Poly, in Collaboration with the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences and Stony Brook University, Demonstrates Pioneering Method to Visualize and Identify Engineered Nanoparticles in Tissue March 25th, 2016

Memory Technology

Hybrid nanoantennas -- next-generation platform for ultradense data recording April 28th, 2016

Magnetic vortices defy temperature fluctuations: Common magnetic mineral is reliable witness to Earth's history April 19th, 2016

A single-atom magnet breaks new ground for future data storage April 15th, 2016

Topology explains queer electrical current boost in non-magnetic metal: Scientists reduce resistance in PdCoO2 with magnetic fields April 12th, 2016

Nanotubes/Buckyballs/Fullerenes

NREL finds nanotube semiconductors well-suited for PV systems April 27th, 2016

Researchers create artificial protein to control assembly of buckyballs April 27th, 2016

Cleaning up hybrid battery electrodes improves capacity and lifespan: New way of building supercapacitor-battery electrodes eliminates interference from inactive components April 22nd, 2016

Nature Photonics: Light source for quicker computer chips: Waveguide with integrated carbon nanotubes for conversion of electric signals into light / quicker computer chips are feasible / publication in Nature Photonics April 21st, 2016

Discoveries

Cooling graphene-based film close to pilot-scale production April 30th, 2016

Personal cooling units on the horizon April 29th, 2016

Exploring phosphorene, a promising new material April 29th, 2016

Superfast light source made from artificial atom April 28th, 2016

Announcements

Cooling graphene-based film close to pilot-scale production April 30th, 2016

Personal cooling units on the horizon April 29th, 2016

Exploring phosphorene, a promising new material April 29th, 2016

The Translational Research Center at the University Hospital of Erlangen in Germany uses the ZetaView from Particle Metrix to quantify extracellular vesicles such as exosomes April 28th, 2016

Tools

Exploring phosphorene, a promising new material April 29th, 2016

JPK reports on the use of a NanoWizard AFM system at the University of Kaiserslautern to study the interaction of bacteria with microstructured surfaces April 28th, 2016

Chemists use DNA to build the world's tiniest thermometer April 27th, 2016

Bruker Introduces Dimension FastScan Pro Industrial AFM: Providing Nanometer-Resolution at High Scan Rates for up to 300-mm Samples April 26th, 2016

Alliances/Trade associations/Partnerships/Distributorships

Electrically Conductive Graphene Ink Enables Printing of Biosensors April 23rd, 2016

Leti Extends Collaboration with Qualcomm on CoolCubeTM 3D Integration Technology for High-Density, High-Performance ICs: Collaboration Goals Include Building an Ecosystem To Take the Chip-stacking Technology from Design to Fabrication April 13th, 2016

FEI Partners with Five Pharmaceutical Companies, the Medical Research Council and the University of Cambridge to form Cryo-EM Research Consortium April 5th, 2016

Strem Chemicals and SONA Nanotech Sign Distribution Agreement for the World’s First Gold Nanorods Synthesized without CTAB February 24th, 2016

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







Car Brands
Buy website traffic