Oct. 30, 2012

The fabrication of many objects, machines, and devices around us rely on the controlled deformation of metals by industrial processes such as bending, shearing, and stamping. Is this technology transferrable to nanoscale? Can we build similarly complex devices and machines with very small dimensions?

Scientists from Aalto University in Finland and the University of Washington in the US have just demonstrated how to create complex three-dimensional structures at nanoscale by combining ion processing and nanolithography.

In nature, when dandelion flowers bloom, one may try cutting the flower stem into small strips and put them in water. The strips will fold with observable width-dependent curvatures due to differences in the water absorption between the inside and outside parts of the stem.

- Our idea was to find a way to adapt these natural processes to nanofabrication. This led us to an incidental finding that a focused ion beam can locally induce bending with nanoscale resolution.

The resulting structures is very sturdy and robust and scientists expect this techonology can be applied in the fabrication of nanoscale devices. – Because the structures are so small, the coupling and the magnitude of typical nanoscale forces acting on them would be commensurately small, reminds Docent Sorin Paraoanu, the leader of the Kvantti research group, Aalto University.

– As for applications, we have demonstrated so far that these structures can capture and retain particles with dimensions of the order of a micrometer. However, we believe that we are just scratching the tip of the iceberg: a comprehensive theory of ion-assisted self-assembly processes is yet to be reached, notes Paraoanu.

Source: Aalto University

 

Posted in 3D Technology

 

 

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