Sep 042013


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.”

Read more . . .

The Latest on: Nanofabrication
  • Better together: Silicon qubits plus light add up to new quantum computing capability
    on February 13, 2018 at 8:00 pm

    Devices were fabricated in the Princeton University Quantum Device Nanofabrication Laboratory. The paper, A Coherent Spin-Photon Interface in Silicon by Xiao Mi, Monica Benito, Stefan Putz David Zajac, Jacob Taylor, Guido Burkard and Jason Petta ... […]

  • NUS To Collaborate With Industry On Hybrid Flexible Electronics
    on February 13, 2018 at 12:00 am

    To serve as research platform to foster greater collaboration between multi-disciplinary research groups from within the University as well as industry and research partners, NUS is currently constructing a new state-of-the-art nanofabrication facility ... […]

  • DNV GL launches offshore & marine 3D printing research center at Singapore’s NAMIC
    on February 12, 2018 at 1:43 am

    Singapore’s National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC) has received a boost with the launch of a new research center and the construction of a nanofabrication facility for multi-disciplinary research. Global quality assurance and risk ... […]

  • Kelly Made VP of Sales, Marketing at Axus
    on February 9, 2018 at 5:08 am

    Axus is a surface processing solutions company providing, global, chemical-mechanical plaraization, wafer thinning and wafer polishing services for semiconductor, microelectromechanical systems, nanofabrication and substrate applications. […]

  • Scientists have figured out how to use quantum tunnelling to harvest electricity from Earth's heat
    on February 8, 2018 at 10:42 am

    "Nonetheless, by combining clever tricks with the advanced tools at KAUST's nanofabrication facility we accomplished this step." The MIM diode created by the researchers was able to successfully capture infrared radiation with zero applied voltage – a ... […]

  • Researchers fabricate artificial device mimicking blood-brain barrier
    on February 8, 2018 at 12:00 am

    The prototype has been developed owing to an extremely multidisciplinary approach, that was based on micro- nanofabrication competencies, modeling and microfluidodynamics. In the future researchers will use the device to understand the interaction of drugs ... […]

  • Downsizing a Glass Slide Containing Delicate Samples
    on February 7, 2018 at 7:22 am

    Clark had come to know that a LatticeAx cleaving machine was setup at the University in the cleanroom of the Nanofabrication Lab. He believed that if it was acceptable for the cleanroom, it could possibly be used to downsize the glass slide cleanly and ... […]

  • Diode harvests infrared energy to generate electricity
    on February 5, 2018 at 1:43 am

    “Nonetheless, by combining clever tricks with the advanced tools at KAUST’s nanofabrication facility we accomplished this step”. By choosing metals with different work functions, the new MIM diode could catch the infrared waves with zero applied ... […]

  • Artificial Graphene Created On A Semiconductor Device Using Nanofabrication Techniques
    on December 12, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    In an important breakthrough in physics and materials science, researchers have for the first time engineered artificial graphene in a semiconductor device. Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science researchers worked with colleagues ... […]

  • Desktop Nanofabrication Becomes Much Cheaper
    on July 19, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    Chad Mirkin, director of Northwestern's International Institute for Nanotechnology, and the original developer of the technology behind NanoInk, which went bust earlier this year, is behind new research that employs beam-pen lithography to produce diverse ... […]

via Google News and Bing News

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: