A surprising low-tech tool—Scotch Magic tape—was one of the keys to the discovery
An international group of researchers from the University of Minnesota, Argonne National Laboratory and Seoul National University have discovered a groundbreaking technique in manufacturing nanostructures that has the potential to make electrical and optical devices smaller and better than ever before. A surprising low-tech tool of Scotch Magic tape ended up being one of the keys to the discovery.
The research is published today in Nature Communications, an international online research journal.
Combining several standard nanofabrication techniques—with the final addition of the Scotch Magic tape—researchers at the University of Minnesota created extremely thin gaps through a layer of metal and patterned these tiny gaps over the entire surface of a four-inch silicon wafer. The smallest gaps were only one nanometer wide, much smaller than most researchers have been able to achieve. In addition, the widths of the gaps could be controlled on the atomic level. This work provides the basis for producing new and better nanostructures that are at the core of advanced electronic and optical devices.
One of the potential uses of nanometer-scale gaps in metal layers is to squeeze light into spaces much smaller than is otherwise possible. Collaborators at Seoul National University, led by Prof. Dai-Sik Kim, and Argonne National Laboratory, led by Dr. Matthew Pelton, showed that light could readily be squeezed through these gaps, even though the gaps are hundreds or even thousands of times smaller than the wavelength of the light used. Researchers are very interested in forcing light into small spaces because this is a way of boosting the intensity of the light. The collaborators found that the intensity inside the gaps is increased by as much as 600 million times.
“Our technology, called atomic layer lithography, has the potential to create ultra-small sensors with increased sensitivity and also enable new and exciting experiments at the nanoscale like we’ve never been able to do before,” said Sang-Hyun Oh, one of the lead researchers on the study and a professor of electrical and computer engineering in the University of Minnesota’s College of Science and Engineering. “This research also provides the basis for future studies to improve electronic and photonic devices.”
One of the most surprising outcomes of the research is that Scotch Magic tape was one of the keys to the discovery. Etching one-nanometer-wide gaps into metals is not feasible with existing tools. Instead, the researchers in Oh’s team constructed the nano-gaps by layering atomic-scale thin films on the sides of metal patterns and then capping the structure with another metal layer. No expensive patterning tools were needed to form the gaps this way, but it was challenging to remove the excess metals on top and expose the tiny gaps. During a frustrating struggle of trying to find a way to remove the metal films, University of Minnesota Ph.D. student and lead author of the study Xiaoshu Chen found that by using simple Scotch Magic tape, the excess metals could be easily removed.
“The Scotch tape works nicely, which was unexpected,” said Oh. “Our technique is so simple yet can create uniform and ultra-small gaps like we’ve never been able to do before. We hope that it will rapidly be taken up by many researchers.”
The Latest on: Nanofabrication
- Company Overview of IMS Nanofabrication GmbH on May 16, 2019 at 1:07 am
IMS Nanofabrication GmbH develops electron multi-beam mask writer systems. It develops lithography tools for the semiconductor and nanotech industry. The company focuses on massively parallel charged ... […]
- Key Executives for IMS Nanofabrication GmbH on May 14, 2019 at 7:15 am
The information and data displayed in this profile are created and managed by S&P Global Market Intelligence, a division of S&P Global. Bloomberg.com does not create or control the content. For ... […]
- A self-assembled plasmonic optical fiber nanoprobe for label-free biosensing on May 14, 2019 at 2:13 am
However, the integration of plasmonic nanostructures on optical fiber probes always relies on the top-down nanofabrication approaches, which have several inherent shortcomings, including high cost, ... […]
- New cell-sized micro robots might make incredible journeys on March 8, 2019 at 11:56 am
Researchers have created tiny functional, remote-powered, walking robots, developing a multistep nanofabrication technique that turns a 4-inch specialized silicon wafer into a million microscopic ... […]
- The Pennsylvania State University's Nanofabrication Lab Orders Advanced-Configuration Temescal Electron Beam Metallization System from Ferrotec on January 15, 2019 at 7:23 am
LIVERMORE, Calif., Jan. 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Ferrotec Corporation, a global supplier of materials, components, and precision system solutions and the leading manufacturer of electron beam ... […]
- An In-Depth Look at Bottom Up Nanofabrication on November 16, 2018 at 6:37 am
Nanofabrication is a way of making devices, systems, and components on a nanoscale. There are two main types of nanofabrication, top-down and bottom-up nanofabrication. Top-down nanofabrication ... […]
- Researchers develop sub-7-nm memory device without nanofabrication on August 21, 2018 at 7:40 am
Scientists have developed some of the tiniest magnets to date, just 3-7 nanometers (nm) in size. Due to their small dimensions and high thermal stability, as well as the simple self-assembly process ... […]
- Nanofabrication Market to Receive Overwhelming Hike in Revenues by 2025 on August 3, 2018 at 5:02 pm
Albany, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/03/2018 -- Micro- and nanofabrication refers to the production of devices at the micrometer (0.001 mm) or 100 nanometer scale. Devices are produced by making a pattern and ... […]
- Chinese use ice to develop 3D nanofabrication method on July 24, 2018 at 6:57 pm
Chinese researchers have created a 3D nanofabrication method by using ice and fabricated 3D nanostructures. The entire 3D nanofabrication process is realized in a vacuum. A pattern resolution of 20 ... […]
- Kirigami Paper Folding Inspires Advanced 3D Nanofabrication Research on July 16, 2018 at 11:31 am
When it comes to 3D printed folding research, we hear most often about projects inspired by origami. But as new research coming out of the Chinese Academy of Sciences shows, we shouldn’t discount the ... […]
via Google News and Bing News