Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors


Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Argonne nanoscientists invent better etching technique

Abstract:
Imagine yourself nano-sized, standing on the edge of a soon-to-be computer chip. Down shoots a beam of electrons, carving precise topography that is then etched the depth of the Grand Canyon into the chip.

Argonne nanoscientists invent better etching technique

Argonne, IL | Posted on August 20th, 2011

From the perspective of scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory, this improved form of etching could open the door to new technologies.

Argonne nanoscientist Seth Darling and colleagues at Argonne's Center for Nanoscale Materials and Energy Systems Division say it has the potential to revolutionize how patterns are transferred onto different materials, paving a new approach for the next generation of energy, electronics and memory technologies.

The innovation combines new tricks with an old technology.

One of the biggest recent questions facing materials science has involved the development of better techniques for high-resolution lithographies such as electron-beam, or e-beam, lithography. E-beam lithography is used to manufacture the tiniest of structures, including microelectronics and advanced sensors; beams of electrons are part of a process that "prints" desired patterns into the substance.

Transferring patterns more deeply into materials would allow scientists to craft better electronics.

To create a pattern using e-beam lithography, researchers have conventionally traced a pattern within a layer called a "resist," which is then etched into the underlying substrate.

Because the resist is thin and fragile, an intermediate "hard mask" is generally laid between the resist and the substrate. Ideally, the hard mask would stick to the substrate long enough for the desired features to be etched and then be cleanly removed—though the extra layer often results in blurriness, rough edges and additional costs and complications.

But over the course of the past several years, Darling and his colleagues have developed a technique called sequential infiltration synthesis (SIS). Another method of building custom designs at the nanoscale level, SIS involves the controlled growth of inorganic materials within polymer films. This means that scientists can construct materials with unique properties and even with complex, 3-D geometries.

"With SIS, we can take that thin, delicate resist film and make it robust by infiltrating it with inorganic material," Darling explained. "That way, you don't need an intermediate mask, so you get around all the problems associated with that extra layer."

Although some resists might work better than others under certain conditions, no single approach had yet demonstrated the ability to ingrain a pattern with the ease, depth and fidelity of the Argonne approach, Darling said.

"It's possible we might be able to create very narrow features well over a micron deep using only a very thin, SIS-enhanced etch mask, which from our perspective would be a breakthrough capability," he said.

By combining sequential infiltration synthesis with block copolymers, molecules that can assemble themselves into a variety of tunable nanostructures, this technique can be extended to create even smaller features than are possible using e-beam lithography. The key is to design a selective reaction between the inorganic precursor molecules and one of the components in the block copolymer.

"This opens a wide range of possibilities," said Argonne chemist Jeff Elam, who helped create the process. "You can imagine applications for solar cells, electronics, filters, catalysts—all sorts of different devices that require nanostructures, but also the functionality of inorganic materials."

The work is published in two studies, "Enhanced polymeric lithography resists via sequential infiltration synthesis" in the Journal of Materials Chemistry and "Enhanced block copolymer lithography using sequential infiltration synthesis" in the Journal of Physical Chemistry C.

"Hopefully, our discovery gives scientists an extra advantage when it comes to creating deeper patterns with higher resolution," Darling said.

Use of the Center for Nanoscale Materials was supported by DOE's Office of Science. This work was also supported in part by the Argonne-Northwestern Solar Energy Research Center, a DOE Office of Science-funded Energy Frontier Research Center.

The Center for Nanoscale Materials at Argonne National Laboratory is one of the five DOE Nanoscale Science Research Centers (NSRCs), premier national user facilities for interdisciplinary research at the nanoscale, supported by the DOE Office of Science. Together the NSRCs comprise a suite of complementary facilities that provide researchers with state-of-the-art capabilities to fabricate, process, characterize and model nanoscale materials, and constitute the largest infrastructure investment of the National Nanotechnology Initiative. The NSRCs are located at DOE's Argonne, Brookhaven, Lawrence Berkeley, Oak Ridge and Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories. For more information about the DOE NSRCs, please visit nano.energy.gov.

By Jared Sagoff and Louise Lerner

####

About Argonne National Laboratory
Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation's first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America's scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Louise Lerner
630/252-5526

Copyright © Argonne National Laboratory

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 Links

Follow Argonne on Twitter at:

Related News Press

News and information

Simple attraction: Researchers control protein release from nanoparticles without encapsulation: U of T Engineering discovery stands to improve reliability and fabrication process for treatments to conditions such as spinal cord damage and stroke May 28th, 2016

Scientists illuminate a hidden regulator in gene transcription: New super-resolution technique visualizes important role of short-lived enzyme clusters May 27th, 2016

Doubling down on Schrödinger's cat May 27th, 2016

Deep Space Industries and SFL selected to provide satellites for HawkEye 360’s Pathfinder mission: The privately-funded space-based global wireless signal monitoring system will be developed by Deep Space Industries and UTIAS Space Flight Laboratory May 26th, 2016

Laboratories

Revealing the nature of magnetic interactions in manganese oxide: New technique for probing local magnetic interactions confirms 'superexchange' model that explains how the material gets its long-range magnetic order May 25th, 2016

ORNL demonstrates large-scale technique to produce quantum dots May 21st, 2016

Scientists take a major leap toward a 'perfect' quantum metamaterial: Berkeley Lab, UC Berkeley researchers lead study that uses trapped atoms in an artificial crystal of light May 13th, 2016

Atomic force microscope reveals molecular ghosts: Mapping molecules with atomic precision expands toolbox for designing new catalytic reactions May 11th, 2016

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Scientists illuminate a hidden regulator in gene transcription: New super-resolution technique visualizes important role of short-lived enzyme clusters May 27th, 2016

Doubling down on Schrödinger's cat May 27th, 2016

Harnessing solar and wind energy in one device could power the 'Internet of Things' May 26th, 2016

Thermal modification of wood and a complex study of its properties by magnetic resonance May 26th, 2016

Chip Technology

Gigantic ultrafast spin currents: Scientists from TU Wien (Vienna) are proposing a new method for creating extremely strong spin currents. They are essential for spintronics, a technology that could replace today's electronics May 25th, 2016

Diamonds closer to becoming ideal semiconductors: Researchers find new method for doping single crystals of diamond May 25th, 2016

Dartmouth team creates new method to control quantum systems May 24th, 2016

Attosecond physics: A switch for light-wave electronics May 24th, 2016

Discoveries

Simple attraction: Researchers control protein release from nanoparticles without encapsulation: U of T Engineering discovery stands to improve reliability and fabrication process for treatments to conditions such as spinal cord damage and stroke May 28th, 2016

Scientists illuminate a hidden regulator in gene transcription: New super-resolution technique visualizes important role of short-lived enzyme clusters May 27th, 2016

Doubling down on Schrödinger's cat May 27th, 2016

Finding a new formula for concrete: Researchers look to bones and shells as blueprints for stronger, more durable concrete May 26th, 2016

Announcements

Simple attraction: Researchers control protein release from nanoparticles without encapsulation: U of T Engineering discovery stands to improve reliability and fabrication process for treatments to conditions such as spinal cord damage and stroke May 28th, 2016

Scientists illuminate a hidden regulator in gene transcription: New super-resolution technique visualizes important role of short-lived enzyme clusters May 27th, 2016

Doubling down on Schrödinger's cat May 27th, 2016

Deep Space Industries and SFL selected to provide satellites for HawkEye 360’s Pathfinder mission: The privately-funded space-based global wireless signal monitoring system will be developed by Deep Space Industries and UTIAS Space Flight Laboratory May 26th, 2016

Printing/Lithography/Inkjet/Inks

Physicists create first metamaterial with rewritable magnetic ordering May 23rd, 2016

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

Highlights from the Graphene Flagship April 22nd, 2016

Penn engineers develop first transistors made entirely of nanocrystal 'inks April 11th, 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