Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

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

Sopping up proteins with thermosponges: Researchers develop novel nanoparticle platform that proves effective in delivering protein-based drugs October 22nd, 2014

Brookhaven Lab Launches Computational Science Initiative:Leveraging computational science expertise and investments across the Laboratory to tackle "big data" challenges October 22nd, 2014

Bipolar Disorder Discovery at the Nano Level: Tiny structures found in brain synapses help scientists better understand disorder October 22nd, 2014

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

Possible Futures

Imaging electric charge propagating along microbial nanowires October 20th, 2014

Superconducting circuits, simplified: New circuit design could unlock the power of experimental superconducting computer chips October 18th, 2014

Nanocoatings Market By Product Is Expected To Reach USD 8.17 Billion By 2020: Grand View Research, Inc. October 15th, 2014

Perpetuus Carbon Group Receives Independent Verification of its Production Capacity for Graphenes at 140 Tonnes per Annum: Perpetuus Becomes the First Manufacturer in the Sector to Allow Third Party Audit October 7th, 2014

Academic/Education

First Canada Excellence Research Chair gets $10 million from the federal government for oilsands research at the University of Calgary: Federal government announces prestigious research chair to study improving oil production efficiency October 19th, 2014

Raytheon, UMass Lowell open on-campus research institute: Industry leaderís researchers to collaborate with faculty, students to move key technologies forward through first-of-its-kind partnership October 11th, 2014

SUNY Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Announce Expanded Partnership October 2nd, 2014

Yale University and Leica Microsystems Partner to Establish Microscopy Center of Excellence: Yale Welcomes Scientists to Participate in Core Facility Opening and Super- Resolution Workshops October 20 Through 31, 2014 September 30th, 2014

Memory Technology

Superconducting circuits, simplified: New circuit design could unlock the power of experimental superconducting computer chips October 18th, 2014

Future computers could be built from magnetic 'tornadoes' October 14th, 2014

Research mimics brain cells to boost memory power September 30th, 2014

SouthWest NanoTechnologies (SWeNT) Receives NIST Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase 1 Award to Produce Greater than 99% Semiconducting Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes September 19th, 2014

Nanotubes/Buckyballs

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

Special UO microscope captures defects in nanotubes: University of Oregon chemists provide a detailed view of traps that disrupt energy flow, possibly pointing toward improved charge-carrying devices October 21st, 2014

Imaging electric charge propagating along microbial nanowires October 20th, 2014

Beyond LEDs: Brighter, new energy-saving flat panel lights based on carbon nanotubes - Planar light source using a phosphor screen with highly crystalline single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) as field emitters demonstrates its potential for energy-efficient lighting device October 14th, 2014

Discoveries

Sopping up proteins with thermosponges: Researchers develop novel nanoparticle platform that proves effective in delivering protein-based drugs October 22nd, 2014

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

Mechanism behind nature's sparkles revealed October 22nd, 2014

Researchers patent a nanofluid that improves heat conductivity October 22nd, 2014

Announcements

NanoTechnology for Defense (NT4D) October 22nd, 2014

Mechanism behind nature's sparkles revealed October 22nd, 2014

TARA Biosystems and Harris & Harris Group Form Company to Improve Safety and Efficacy of New Therapies October 22nd, 2014

Researchers patent a nanofluid that improves heat conductivity October 22nd, 2014

Tools

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

Special UO microscope captures defects in nanotubes: University of Oregon chemists provide a detailed view of traps that disrupt energy flow, possibly pointing toward improved charge-carrying devices October 21st, 2014

Super stable garnet ceramics may be ideal for high-energy lithium batteries October 21st, 2014

Detecting Cancer Earlier is Goal of Rutgers-Developed Medical Imaging Technology: Rare earth nanocrystals and infrared light can reveal small cancerous tumors and cardiovascular lesions October 21st, 2014

Alliances/Partnerships/Distributorships

European Commission opens the gate towards the implementation of Nanomedicine Translation Hub October 16th, 2014

IRLYNX and CEA-Leti to Streamline New CMOS-based Infrared Sensing Modules Dedicated to Human-activities Characterization October 15th, 2014

New VDMA Association "Electronics, Micro and Nano Technologies" founded: Inaugural Meeting in Frankfurt/Main, Germany October 15th, 2014

VDMA photonics steering committee with new members stronger than ever October 14th, 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