Accessory for Nanorobotics
not only for vacuum chambers
Our high resolution Nanorobotics manipulators can be equipped with additional tools, to form complete solutions and to expand their field of application. Each Nanorobotics stage offers a set of different positions, where objects can be fixed. The following items are preferred examples. Other probes like e.g. MEMS sensors are also available within our Microtechnology Network that includes more than 110 partners.
The NMT manipulators can be equipped with electrically conductive cantilevers:
The tip is at the very front end of the cantilever and has a tip radius of less than 100 nm. Diamond coated tips for processing material are available as well.
Fine wire shaped tips can be prepared by etching tungsten or PtIr wires. For wafer probing these wires have the advantage that they can point under a selectable angle towards the sample. The disadvantage is the missing flexible area of the cantilever. A secure approach of these tips also on non conductive sample areas is still possible with our "Nanofinger", a sensor that feels the sample without touching it in a distance of about 10 nm, see below. Fig. 1 shows an etched tungsten tip, Fig. 2 a tip etching stage.
At first the tip is moved fast with the absolute positioning
Nanorobotics manipulator into a secure distance above the sample, e.g.
50 microns above. Then the automatic approach process similar to that
of an STM can be executed:
Different sensors and electronics can be used to detect the contact moment on conductive or isolating samples:
Software modules and electronics compatible to our Network Controller are available to support these approach modes.
The "Nanofinger" developed by Klocke Nanotechnik is a small MEMS device that detects the distance of a probe tip and a sample. The following graph describes the signal output of this device during a tip approach:
In a distance of about 10 nm the Nanofinger "feels" the sample - without touching it. The shape of the intensity - distance curve in the area between 0 nm (contact) and about 10 nm is independent from the properties of the sample, conductivity is not necessary. When the output signal is compared with a certain selectable level (e.g. 75% amplitude) this level is related to a calibrated distance between Nanofinger and sample (in this example e.g. 5 nm).
This signal can be used for the tip approach on isolating samples, as described above:
The Nanofinger uses a high speed electronics that
reacts with a bandwidth of some KHz. To read a height signal needs about
1 ms. The electronics of the Nanofinger is completely compatible to our
Network Controller and allows a closed loop operation
without burdening the master PC with the feedback.
The Nanofinger includes a tip holder that can carry a thin wire-shaped tip. This tip can be used for wafer probing, TEM lamella handling or to define a position precisely.
The Nanorobotics system includes stages and tools that are compatible in mechanics and electronics. Our Nanorobotics Gripper can also be used in a vacuum chamber, fixed at the end of a manipulator.
Our Micro Production Systems include video cameras and a Server PC with a vision software for pattern recognition. With this software the position and orientation of an object can be detected and many procedures for quality control are included. The vision PC can read any kind of video signals, e.g. from an Electron Microscope when it offers such a signal. Our complete process control of the Micro Production system can be used for this application, and objects can be taught in the vision system to identify their position in the SEM picture.
An example for the usage of this system is automatic
wafer probing: extremely small structures are recognized by the vision
system and the manipulator can place its probe tip directly onto that