Cost-Effective, Laser-Assisted in Situ Nanostructure Fabrication and Processing
APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:
Nanoscale fabrication and manufacturing of:
• Medical micro- and nano-devices including components for implants
• Materials and structures for microelectronics and optoelectronics
• Contacts, circuit lines, interconnects, and integrated circuits for semiconductors
• Repairing lithographic photomasks, integrated circuits, and other nanoscale components
• Highly localized deposition and modification allow:
• Direct (in situ) fabrication of one-, two-, or three-dimensional nanostructures on any solid substrate
• Real-time imaging when integrated with most standard imaging instruments
• Cost-effective repair of nanoscale defects (<100 nm line width) in lithographic photomasks or other nanoscale components without damaging the surrounding materials
• Versatile deposition method can be used to modify, fabricate, repair, or connect at any temperature
• Any known deposition material and solid substrate
• A wide variety of nanostructures of different materials
Scientists at Berkeley Lab have created a new laser-assisted nanomaterial deposition method that makes possible the direct-write, nanometer-scale fabrication and modification of complex structures of any shape, on any type of solid substrate, and at any temperature.
The first to use laser beams for direct material deposition at the submicron and nanometer scales, the Berkeley Lab method offers a highly versatile nanomanufacturing process that allows in situ deposition and processing of nanomaterials to create one-, two-, and three-dimensional nanostructures, and in situ monitoring and modification of existing nanostructures, for the fabrication or repair of medical devices, and microelectronic and optoelectronic circuits and components.
The Berkeley Lab researchers have also created a new instrument that uses laser radiation to focus deposition to regions on the order of 100 nm or less of a substrate. The apparatus may be integrated with imaging instruments, such as electron microscopes, scanning probe microscopes, atomic force microscopes, and near-field scanning optical microscopes, to allow for real-time imaging of the deposition process.
Because laser beams can be focused to a specific substrate region of 100 nm or less, existing nanostructures can be fabricated or repaired without damaging the surrounding materials. This capability for very precise in situ monitoring at the nanoscale is not possible with conventional electron-beam deposition methods, which are prone to damaging the substrate due to electron scattering. When used to repair nanosize defects such as those in lithographic photomasks, the Berkeley Lab method offers industry a viable, cost-effective alternative to costly replacements.
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