Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Penn researchers create the first reliable method for making gaps for nanotech apps

14.03.2006


Mind the Nanogaps: Penn Researchers Create the First Reliable Method for Making Gaps for Nanotech AppsMind the Nanogaps: Penn Researchers Create the First Reliable Method for Making Gaps for Nanotech Apps



Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have announced that they have bridged a major obstruction in the creation of nanoscale electronics by developing a simple, reliable and observable method of creating tiny, tiny gaps between electrodes.

Such "nanogaps" will make it possible to make electrical contact to structures on the nanoscale billionths of a meter. In a recent edition of the journal Applied Physics Letters, online now, physicists Marija Drndic and Michael Fischbein describe the creation of nanogaps, which could have applications ranging from ultra ast electronics to quantum computing to high-speed gene reading.


"A number of people have proposed nanoelectronic devices that use nanogaps, but nobody has been able to create nanogaps reliably in practice," said Marija Drndic, an assistant professor in Penn’s Department of Physics and Astronomy in the School of Arts and Sciences. "For the first time, we were able to make the world’s smallest and cleanest nanometer gaps that can be imaged directly with atomic resolution. These nanogaps can be used to electrically connect small objects, such as an individual molecule."

The ability to hook individual molecules -whether they are the product of nanotechnology or biotechnology -to electronic circuits is the goal of many researchers. Such systems will have applications in medicine, robotics, materials science and even security. In addition, electronics on the nanoscale will be used to create denser, faster storage devices and microprocessor chips.

To create these gaps, Drndic and graduate student Michael Fischbein used electron beam lithography, a common nanotechnology tool that uses electrons to create patterns on a surface. Their research succeeded where previous efforts failed because of the type of surface they used, thin layers of silicon nitride.

"Electon beam lithography works on small scale, but it is limited down to about 10 nanometers." Drndic said. "It is not like drawing a line on a page; as an electron beam hits a material the electrons tend to scatter forward and backward, which makes it difficult to create tiny lines."

While other researchers focused on breaking small wires to create nanogaps, similar to how a fuse can be popped open, the Penn researchers went the opposite route, making the gaps directly.

"Contrary to many expectations, the thin layer of silicon nitride, which we used instead of the usual xide on silicon,helped minimize the amount of electron scattering to the point where we could make clean gaps," Fischbein said.

Just as important, these nanogaps are compatible with high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, or HRTEM. Because nanogaps are created on thin films, it is easy to study the structure through HRTEM and assess their quality.

Already, the researchers have used nanogaps to measure electrical charge through several coupled nanocrystals, which are also referred to as quantum dots. Previous researchers have demonstrated that quantum dots can be manipulated to change their physical properties, particularly their optical properties. In fact, the blue laser, which will soon be put into use in commercial products, was a result of early research in changing the colors of quantum dots.

"Nanogaps allow us to inject charge directly into individual nanocrystals, which may enable us to control their properties on a quantum level," Fischbein said. "It is a small gap, but across it we can bridge classical and quantum physics. This research was funded through grants from the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research and the American Chemical Society.

Greg Lester | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.upenn.edu

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Physics boosts artificial intelligence methods
19.10.2017 | California Institute of Technology

nachricht NASA team finds noxious ice cloud on saturn's moon titan
19.10.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Electrode materials from the microwave oven

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

New material for digital memories of the future

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Physics boosts artificial intelligence methods

19.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>