Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Carbon nanotube fabrication versatility is at the heart of innovative new materials growth tool

23.05.2007
Surrey NanoSystems, a joint venture between the University of Surrey’s Advanced Technology Institute and CEVP Ltd, is making its commercial debut at Nanotech 2007, offering what it believes is the most versatile growth tool for carbon nanotube fabrication ever produced, facilitating material growth at 'standard' temperatures in and around the 450-1000 degrees Celsius range, as well as growth at lower temperatures.

Called NanoGrowth 1000n, the new tool is purpose-designed for nanomaterial fabrication and comes with both CVD (chemical vapour deposition) and PECVD (plasma-enhanced CVD) processing capability. These two techniques provide great versatility for users.

Precision fabrication and configuration repeatability principles have been at the core of the tool's architecture, which has been developed by engineers with many years of experience of creating thin-film tools for both scientific research and commercial fabrication. Among the tool's many quality-oriented architectural features are an ultra-high purity gas delivery system and flexible closed-loop control systems that allow users to define target tolerances to achieve a high level of repeatability during all phases of the process.

A very high degree of hardware modularity allows the tool to be expanded easily and configured to meet current and future fabrication requirements. Among many options are further processing techniques such as ICP (inductively coupled plasma), dual sputter sources for catalyst deposition - including a module for delivery of vapour-phase catalysts like ferrocene - plus modules to add process stages for automated pilot production or high throughput. Included in the latter category are an automated wafer transport load/lock system, integrated etching capability, and a PECVD module for deposition of thin-film silicon-based materials.

"This new type of tool addresses the needs of nanomaterial researchers for stable and repeatable results, combined with the flexibility to accommodate individual development ideas. The tool's intrinsic hardware modularity allows users to gain automated control over all aspect of nanomaterial synthesis, from catalyst generation to final material processing," says Dr Guan Yow Chen, Chief Scientist at Surrey NanoSystems.

Users are provided with ready-to-use fabrication programmes. These provide nanomaterial growth 'recipes' in the form of software templates that may be adapted easily by users for their own applications.

Surrey NanoSystems' new carbon nanotube tool is controlled by unique, touch-screen SCADA-style software (supervisory control and data acquisition) – developed and refined over more than seven years on high-end thin-film deposition tools. This software provides an extremely user-friendly interface that sits between the user and the tool - making complex growth or deposition processes both easy to create and run. MIMIC displays of the tool and other graphical techniques provide simple control over all phases of the material growth process, allowing the user to control every aspect - such as gas flow rate, temperatures, RF power, etc – manually or automatically.

Surrey NanoSystems expects the purpose-designed tool to enable nanomaterial researchers to shorten the path to commercialisation. Nanomaterials are expected to have a huge impact on a wide range of next generation technologies such as sensors, interconnects, thermal heat sinks, displays, etc. One of the major goals behind the flexible architecture of the tool is making it possible to commercialise the use of carbon nanotubes and other nanowires in silicon chips - which are approaching their performance limits.

The recipes and patented fabrication technology inside the new tool are field proven, and derived from ground-breaking work by the Advanced Technology Institute (ATI). IP Group Plc provided funding to create Surrey NanoSystems, a corporation dedicated to commercialising the process technology, which was established with staff and intellectual property from ATI and a leading thin-film deposition system manufacturer.

Stuart Miller | alfa
Further information:
http://portal.surrey.ac.uk/portal/page?_pageid=799,1512765&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Scientist invents way to trigger artificial photosynthesis to clean air
26.04.2017 | University of Central Florida

nachricht Researchers invent process to make sustainable rubber, plastics
25.04.2017 | University of Delaware

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientist invents way to trigger artificial photosynthesis to clean air

26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ammonium nitrogen input increases the synthesis of anticarcinogenic compounds in broccoli

26.04.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history

26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>