As nano-lithography technology improves, more companies and research groups have the capability to create nano-scale structures. Scanning tunneling microscopes (STMs) are commonly used to create these structures and evaluate them afterward. One difficulty is that these nano-structures are difficult to find on a centimeter-sized sample without very specialized hardware and post-processing. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is conducting research into developing an integrated system consisting of a high-precision STM, course motion system, interferometer, and vision system that would allow these structures to be accurately created, recognized, and evaluated in ultra-high vacuum (UHV). The fast scan direction in this high-precision STM uses a piezo-driven flexure stage with an interferometer system that allows the motion to be tracked very accurately. A course motion system allows the sample to be moved in larger steps than the STM could move on its own. A vision system capable of locating micro-scaled structures on the sample is used to map larger features on the sample and aid the STM in writing and locating nano-scale features. By combining all these components into one integrated system, NIST hopes to develop the capability to combine nano-scale features with large-scale structures.
Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 3, Technical Proceedings of the 2004 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show, Volume 3
Published: March 7, 2004
Pages: 456 - 459
Industry sector: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing
Topics: Personal & Home Care, Food & Agriculture