Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > IBM Research Creates World's Smallest 3D Map; Brings Low-Cost, Ease of Use to Creation of Nanoscale Objects

3D rendered image showing a heated nanoscale silicon tip, borrowed from atomic force microscopy that is chiselling away material from a substrate to create a nanoscale 3D map of the world.  As reported in the scientific journal Advanced Materials, IBM Researchers used this new nanopatterning technique to create the smallest map of the world in 3D, measuring only 22 by 11 micrometers was “written” – on a polymer - at this size 1000 world maps could fit on a grain of salt. In the relief, one thousand meters of altitude correspond to roughly eight nanometers (nm). It is composed of 500,000 pixels, each measuring 20 nm2 and was created in only 2 minutes and 23 seconds. (Image courtesy of Advanced Materials).
3D rendered image showing a heated nanoscale silicon tip, borrowed from atomic force microscopy that is chiselling away material from a substrate to create a nanoscale 3D map of the world. As reported in the scientific journal Advanced Materials, IBM Researchers used this new nanopatterning technique to create the smallest map of the world in 3D, measuring only 22 by 11 micrometers was “written” – on a polymer - at this size 1000 world maps could fit on a grain of salt. In the relief, one thousand meters of altitude correspond to roughly eight nanometers (nm). It is composed of 500,000 pixels, each measuring 20 nm2 and was created in only 2 minutes and 23 seconds. (Image courtesy of Advanced Materials).

Abstract:
IBM (NYSE: IBM) scientists have created a 3D map of the earth so small that 1,000 of them could fit on one grain of salt.* The scientists accomplished this through a new, breakthrough technique that uses a tiny, silicon tip with a sharp apex — 100,000 times smaller than a sharpened pencil — to create patterns and structures as small as 15 nanometers at greatly reduced cost and complexity. This patterning technique opens new prospects for developing nanosized objects in fields such as electronics, future chip technology, medicine, life sciences, and optoelectronics.

IBM Research Creates World's Smallest 3D Map; Brings Low-Cost, Ease of Use to Creation of Nanoscale Objects

Zurich & San Jose, CA | Posted on April 24th, 2010

To demonstrate the technique's unique capability, the team created several 3D and 2D patterns, using different materials for each one as reported in the scientific journals Science and Advanced Materials:

* A 25-nanometer-high 3D replica of the Matterhorn, a famous Alpine mountain that soars 4,478 m (14,692 ft) high, was created in molecular glass, representing a scale of 1:5 billion.**
* Complete 3D map of the world measuring only 22 by 11 micrometers was "written" on a polymer. At this size, 1,000 world maps could fit on a grain of salt. In the relief, one thousand meters of altitude correspond to roughly eight nanometers (nm). It is composed of 500,000 pixels, each measuring 20 nm2, and was created in only 2 minutes and 23 seconds.
* 2D nano-sized IBM logo was etched 400-nm-deep into silicon, demonstrating the viability of the technique for typical nanofabrication applications.
* 2D high-resolution 15-nm dense line patterning.

The science behind the technique

The core component of the new technique, which was developed by a team of IBM scientists, is a tiny, very sharp silicon tip measuring 500 nanometers in length and only a few nanometers at its apex.

"Advances in nanotechnology are intimately linked to the existence of high-quality methods and tools for producing nanoscale patterns and objects on surfaces," explains physicist Dr. Armin Knoll of IBM Research - Zurich. "With its broad functionality and unique 3D patterning capability, this nanotip-based patterning methodology is a powerful tool for generating very small structures."

The tip, similar to the kind used in atomic force microscopes, is attached to a bendable cantilever that controllably scans the surface of the substrate material with the accuracy of one nanometer—a millionth of a millimeter. By applying heat and force, the nano-sized tip can remove substrate material based on predefined patterns, thus operating like a "nanomilling" machine with ultra-high precision.

Similar to using a milling machine, more material can be removed to create complex 3D structures with nanometer precision by modulating the force or by readdressing individual spots. To create the 3D replica of the Matterhorn, for example, 120 individual layers of material were successively removed from the molecular glass substrate.

Comparing to e-beam lithography

The new IBM technique achieves resolutions as high as 15 nanometers—with a potential of going even smaller. Using existing methods such as e-beam lithography,*** it is becoming increasingly challenging to fabricate patterns at resolutions below 30 nanometers, where the technical limitations of that method are reached.

What's more, compared to expensive e-beam-lithography tools that require several processing steps and equipment that can easily fill a laboratory, the tool created by IBM scientists—which can sit on a tabletop—promises improved and extended capabilities at very high resolutions, but at one-fifth to one tenth of the cost and with far less complexity.

Yet another advantage of the nanotip-based technique is the ability to assess the pattern directly by using the same tip to create an image of the written structures, as the IBM scientists demonstrated in their experiments.

Potential applications range from the fast prototyping of nano-sized devices for future computer chips to the production of well defined micron-sized optical elements like aspheric lenses and lens-arrays for optoelectronics and on-chip optical communication.

Materials breakthrough

In the two publications, the scientists describe their novel 3D-nanopatterning methodology for two very distinct and promising types of substrate materials: a polymer called polyphthalaldehyde and a molecular glass similar to substrate materials used in conventional nanofabrication techniques, so-called resists. Identifying these two materials was a key factor for the breakthrough performance and reliability of the technique.

In their search for suitable and efficient substrate materials, the scientists concentrated on organic materials that could be used as resists, thereby following the same philosophy as used for today's semiconductor technology, which is important for further integration.

"The material was a 'make it or break it' issue," explains Jim Hedrick, scientist at IBM Research - Almaden. "We had to find and synthesize materials which form mechanically tough glasses and yet can be easily thermally decomposed into non-reactive volatile units."

The molecular glass that was used in the Matterhorn experiment consists of snow-flake-like molecules, measuring about one nanometer and having an almost spherical shape. At a tip temperature above 330 degrees C (626 degrees F), the hydrogen bonds that hold the molecules together break, allowing the molecular parts to become mobile and to escape from the surface. A particular strength of the material is that the patterned molecular glass can be transferred by means of conventional etching techniques to, for example, silicon, which is common in the semiconductor industry. Molecular glass was first proposed in the late 1990s by Mitsuru Ueda of Yamagata University, Japan, for use as high-resolution photoresists and was thereafter developed by Chris Ober of Cornell University.

The nanosized 3D world map was created in a polymer called polyphthalaldehyde, a polymer originally developed by IBM Fellow Hiroshi Ito in the 1980s. Exposed to substantially elevated temperatures, the components of this chain-like organic molecule unzip and fall into volatile pieces. A self-amplified reaction causes the molecule to decompose and then accelerates the entire patterning process by being even faster than the mechanical motion of the tip.

IBM and nanotechnology

IBM has been a pioneer in nanoscience and nanotechnology ever since the development of the scanning tunneling microscope (STM) in 1981 by IBM Fellows Gerd Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer. For this invention, which made it possible to image individual atoms and later on to manipulate them, Binnig and Rohrer were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1986. The atomic force microscope, an offspring of the STM, was invented by Binnig in 1986. The STM is widely regarded as the instrument that opened the door to the nanoworld.

In fact it was 20 years ago this month that IBM Fellow Don Eigler reported the first controlled movement of individual atoms, famously using a scanning tunneling microscope to spell out the letters "I B M" with 35 xenon atoms.

These historic breakthroughs laid a solid foundation for IBM's continued research in nanoscience.

Contributing to this rich history for years to come, a new world-class collaborative nanoscale research lab is currently under construction on the campus of IBM Research - Zurich. This state-of-the-art nanotech center, which will open next year, is part of a strategic partnership in nanotechnology between IBM Research and ETH Zurich, one of Europe's leading technical universities.

* Taking 0.3 mm as the average size of a grain of salt, 1000 maps would span the diameter.

** One nanometer in the vertical pattern corresponds to 57 altitude meters.

*** This method selectively exposes a surface to a beam of electrons, thereby creating patterns in a film, called a resist. The resist serves as a template for transferring the pattern to various materials, for example silicon, by means of etching. It is one of the most versatile and mature methods used today, but it is very costly and complex.

asmarterplanet.com

Scientific publications

The scientific paper entitled "Nanoscale 3D Patterning of Molecular Resists by Scanning Probes" by D. Pires, J. L. Hedrick, A. De Silva, J. Frommer, B. Gotsmann, H. Wolf, M. Despont, U. Duerig and A. W. Knoll was published by Science on the Science Express website on April 22, 2010, DOI: 10.1126/science. 1187851

The scientific paper entitled "Probe-based 3-D Nanolithography Using Self-Amplified Depolymerization Polymers" by A. Knoll, D. Pires, O. Coulembier, P. Dubois, J. L. Hedrick, J. Frommer and U. Duerig was published in Advanced Materials, advanced online publication on April 23, 2010, DOI: 10.1002/adma. 200904386

(with video)

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
J. Michael Loughran
IBM Media Relations (U.S.)
914-945-1613


Christopher P. Sciacca
IBM Media Relations (Switzerland)
+41 44 724 84 43

Copyright © IBM

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

A nano-roundabout for light December 10th, 2016

Keeping electric car design on the right road: A closer look at the life-cycle impacts of lithium-ion batteries and proton exchange membrane fuel cells December 9th, 2016

Further improvement of qubit lifetime for quantum computers: New technique removes quasiparticles from superconducting quantum circuits December 9th, 2016

Scientists track chemical and structural evolution of catalytic nanoparticles in 3-D: Up-close, real-time, chemical-sensitive 3-D imaging offers clues for reducing cost/improving performance of catalysts for fuel-cell-powered vehicles and other applications December 8th, 2016

Exotic insulator may hold clue to key mystery of modern physics: Johns Hopkins-led research shows material living between classical and quantum worlds December 8th, 2016

Physics

Further improvement of qubit lifetime for quantum computers: New technique removes quasiparticles from superconducting quantum circuits December 9th, 2016

Shape matters when light meets atom: Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices December 4th, 2016

Deep insights from surface reactions: Researchers use Stampede supercomputer to study new chemical sensing methods, desalination and bacterial energy production December 2nd, 2016

Videos/Movies

ANU invention to inspire new night-vision specs December 7th, 2016

Infrared instrumentation leader secures exclusive use of Vantablack coating December 5th, 2016

Possible Futures

A nano-roundabout for light December 10th, 2016

Keeping electric car design on the right road: A closer look at the life-cycle impacts of lithium-ion batteries and proton exchange membrane fuel cells December 9th, 2016

Further improvement of qubit lifetime for quantum computers: New technique removes quasiparticles from superconducting quantum circuits December 9th, 2016

Scientists track chemical and structural evolution of catalytic nanoparticles in 3-D: Up-close, real-time, chemical-sensitive 3-D imaging offers clues for reducing cost/improving performance of catalysts for fuel-cell-powered vehicles and other applications December 8th, 2016

Chip Technology

A nano-roundabout for light December 10th, 2016

Further improvement of qubit lifetime for quantum computers: New technique removes quasiparticles from superconducting quantum circuits December 9th, 2016

Chemical trickery corrals 'hyperactive' metal-oxide cluster December 8th, 2016

Leti IEDM 2016 Paper Clarifies Correlation between Endurance, Window Margin and Retention in RRAM for First Time: Paper Presented at IEDM 2016 Offers Ways to Reconcile High-cycling Requirements and Instability at High Temperatures in Resistive RAM December 6th, 2016

Nanomedicine

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals to Webcast Fiscal 2016 Year End Results December 7th, 2016

Fast, efficient sperm tails inspire nanobiotechnology December 5th, 2016

Journal Nanotechnology Progress International (JONPI) Volume 6, issue 2 coming out soon! December 5th, 2016

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses: Medicine diffusion capsule could locally treat multiple ailments and diseases over several weeks December 3rd, 2016

Nanoelectronics

Chemical trickery corrals 'hyperactive' metal-oxide cluster December 8th, 2016

Leti IEDM 2016 Paper Clarifies Correlation between Endurance, Window Margin and Retention in RRAM for First Time: Paper Presented at IEDM 2016 Offers Ways to Reconcile High-cycling Requirements and Instability at High Temperatures in Resistive RAM December 6th, 2016

Physicists decipher electronic properties of materials in work that may change transistors December 6th, 2016

Journal Nanotechnology Progress International (JONPI) Volume 6, issue 2 coming out soon! December 5th, 2016

Announcements

A nano-roundabout for light December 10th, 2016

Keeping electric car design on the right road: A closer look at the life-cycle impacts of lithium-ion batteries and proton exchange membrane fuel cells December 9th, 2016

Further improvement of qubit lifetime for quantum computers: New technique removes quasiparticles from superconducting quantum circuits December 9th, 2016

Chemical trickery corrals 'hyperactive' metal-oxide cluster December 8th, 2016

Tools

Scientists track chemical and structural evolution of catalytic nanoparticles in 3-D: Up-close, real-time, chemical-sensitive 3-D imaging offers clues for reducing cost/improving performance of catalysts for fuel-cell-powered vehicles and other applications December 8th, 2016

Deep insights from surface reactions: Researchers use Stampede supercomputer to study new chemical sensing methods, desalination and bacterial energy production December 2nd, 2016

Controlled electron pulses November 30th, 2016

Scientists shrink electron gun to matchbox size: Terahertz technology has the potential to enable new applications November 25th, 2016

Nanobiotechnology

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals to Webcast Fiscal 2016 Year End Results December 7th, 2016

Fast, efficient sperm tails inspire nanobiotechnology December 5th, 2016

Deep insights from surface reactions: Researchers use Stampede supercomputer to study new chemical sensing methods, desalination and bacterial energy production December 2nd, 2016

Nanobiotix Provides Update on Global Development of Lead Product NBTXR3: Seven clinical trials across the world: More than 2/3 of STS patients recruited in the “act.in.sarc” Phase II/III trial: Phase I/II prostate cancer trial now recruiting in the U.S. November 28th, 2016

Photonics/Optics/Lasers

A nano-roundabout for light December 10th, 2016

ANU invention to inspire new night-vision specs December 7th, 2016

Shape matters when light meets atom: Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices December 4th, 2016

Controlled electron pulses November 30th, 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