New Technique Creates Scalable Manufacturing of Nanoshapes 10nm Wide

Achievement date: 
2015
Outcome/accomplishment: 

Researchers at the NSF-funded Nanosystems Engineering Research Center (NERC) for Nanomanufacturing Systems for Mobile Computing and Mobile Energy Technologies (NASCENT) have identified a technique to create scalable manufacturing ultra-high-resolution cross nanoshapes as narrow as 10 nm. This was accomplished through a partnership with Zyvex Labs, a Dallas-based microchip manufacturer.

Impact/benefits: 

The Center and Zyvex identified a technique for producing nanoimprint lithography templates, which is now difficult and expensive, into a scalable manufacturing process. Making this repeatable and cost-effective is essential to improving the performance, stability, and life of random access memory (RAM) found in mobile electronic devices.

Explanation/Background: 
This project addresses NASCENT's main thrust of patterning nanostructures for mobile computing technologies. The goal of this research is to make the structures as small as possible while maintaining the ability to create consistent shapes in consistent sizes. The new technology makes it easier to produce templates for multi-bit magnetic memory that each carry out a process and can be stitched together to create new products that are smaller, more powerful, and more efficient than those on the market today.
 
The STM-tip method removes hydrogen from a silicon surface with atomic precision, exposing a region that can be etched to produce nanoshapes, which can then be printed multiple times and stitched together to create a master template for nanoprint lithography.