There is 1 related live offer.

5% Off SEM, TEM, FIB or Dual Beam

Nanomanipulation – A Basic Look at Nanomanipulation, Nanofabrication, Self Assembly, Limitations and Future Opportunities For Nanomanufacturing

Topics Covered

Background

Nanofabrication

Nanomanipulators

Self Assembly

Applications For Nanomanipulation

Accuracy Limitations

Future of Nanomanipulation – Molecular Manufacturing

Background

The process of moving or altering items at an atomic or molecular scale is known as nanomanipulation. Nanomanipulation is employed in order to produce extremely produce precise structures and can be broken into two subcategories: nanofabrication and self-assembly.

Nanofabrication

Nanofabrication is the use of tools to sculpt or build a range of products, materials or structures at atomic level precision. Nanofabrication is normally done either by removing miniscule particles (even individual atoms and molecules) from a piece of material until the required structure is achieved or by building the material up, atom by atom or molecule by molecule. The first method is similar to carving from a block of wood or stone and the second method similar to brick laying. In order to do this a piece of equipment called a nanomanipulator is required.

Nanomanipulators

Although initially developed for other purposes, modified Atomic Force Microscopes and Scanning Tunnelling Microscopes are now used extensively as nanomanipulators. By altering charge (polarity) along with the magnitude and duration of voltage pulse between the microscope tip and sample surface, single atoms can be lifted, moved, replaced and otherwise manipulated.

Self Assembly

Self-assembly is a nanotechnology field that deals with the construction of nanoscale materials, products, devices and systems without the use of external tools. In effect, they build themselves.

Self assembly is known as a bottom up process in that components arrange themselves into a structured units or patterns from a base rather than being shaped by removal of material like in nanolithography (a top down process)

Applications For Nanomanipulation

Nanomanipulation applications that are currently used include:

•        Preparing and carbon nanotubes

•        Semiconductor preparation and etching for microchip production

•        Microbiological system preparation

•        MEMS development, assembly and testing

•        Transmission electron microscopy probe preparation

•        Construction of components for molecular and quantum computers

Accuracy Limitations

At the time of writing nanomanipulators have a precision or accuracy as small as a couple of nanometers. Although impressive, in order to provide for true placement of individual atoms an accuracy around one tenth of a nanometer is required. The problem with this is that the manipulator ‘fingers’ are themselves made from many atoms, limiting the accuracy. To get a feeling for the limits of accuracy this imposes, imagine trying to push a golf ball into the hole with a bulldozer.

Future of Nanomanipulation – Molecular Manufacturing

Nanomanipulation is tipped to lead to a new form of manufacturing – molecular manufacturing. The end goal of molecular manufacturing is the production of precision components and whole products starting with molecule by molecule assembly. Tiny robots would bring molecules together at the nano level and then, layer by layer, build a full size product. If each stage in the development of these products doubles the size of the previous stage, a metre sized component will be achieved in 30 steps from the nano level.

Source: AZoNano

For more information on this source please visit AZoNano

 

Date Added: Aug 31, 2006 | Updated: Jun 11, 2013
Tell Us What You Think

Do you have a review, update or anything you would like to add to this article?

Leave your feedback
Submit