Nanomanipulators in Electron Microscopy - Applications of the miBot from Imina Technologies

By AZoNano

Table of Contents

Introduction
Imina Technologies miBot Nanomanipulators
Electron Microscopy Applications of the miBot
      Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) Probe Tip Decoration
      Mechanical Characterization of Nanowires
      Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) Sample Preparation
      MEMS/NEMS Testing
      Nanowires Manipulation and Characterization
      4-Point Probe Measurements
About Imina Technologies

Introduction

Micromanipulators from Imina Technologies are useful in a myriad of applications that require precision and deftness at the micro and nanoscale. There are many applications in electron microscopy and related techniques that can benefit from Imina Technologies miBot nanomanipulators.

Imina Technologies miBot Nanomanipulators

The miBot, an ultra compact mobile robot, is capable of manipulating and investigating anything from MEMS, semiconductors, nanoparticles to biological cells. This virtually untethered solution pushes the frontiers of research works to the next level by radically simplifying experiments in microscopes.

The free-to-move miBot provides nanometer-scale resolution of positioning with unmatched freedom of movement along four axes.

Major advantages of the most-versatile nanomanipulator include:

  • Carry out more number of experiments in a lesser amount of time
  • Reduce damaging of samples
  • Investigate large samples with nanometer resolution
  • Perform complex positioning maneuvers
  • Operate at ambient and vacuum conditions
  • Concurrently perform characterization of multiple properties of samples

Electron Microscopy Applications of the miBot

Imina Technologies nanomanipulation platforms can be used with a variety of scanning electron microscope vacuum chambers. The utilization of miBot nanomanipulators with various sensors and probes simplifies in situ mechanical and electrical characterization of new materials.

Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) Probe Tip Decoration

The resolution of an AFM can be improved by sharpening the scanning probe. This can be achieved by attaching a nanowire to the pyramid of a traditional probe. With miBot nanomanipulator, even an untrained operator can successfully achieve this process.

Mechanical Characterization of Nanowires

It is possible to determine mechanical characteristics of a nanowire when it is modeled as beam by holding one end fixed. It is indeed possible to calculate the Young's modulus by bending the nanowire using a rigid probe and measuring the deflection utilizing the SEM images.

Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) Sample Preparation

The nanowires are put on a grid for use in a Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) to perform observations at ultra high resolutions.

The sample preparation is made easy because miBot micromanipulator is capable of combining nanometer-scale resolution of positioning with wide traveling range.

MEMS/NEMS Testing

It is essential to perform reliability and fatigue tests on new MEMS / NEMS devices in order to assess motions of new designs. In situ tests under an optical microscope or in SEM are usually performed during the research and development phase in order to rapidly detect abnormalities or defects.

This figure shows a miBot utilized in the deformation of an AFM cantilever and its observation under the SEM.

Nanowires Manipulation and Characterization

Easy manipulation of nanowires is an essential requirement for characterizing the electrical properties of samples. The miBot nanomanipulator can easily transfer nanowires between two probes.

4-Point Probe Measurements

It is essential to use a non-invasive approach to manipulate and characterize individual nanowires for better understanding their properties. This figure illustrates the probing of a semiconductor silicon nanowire grown by vapor-liquid-solid technique, with dimensions of 6 µm length and 200 nm diameter.

This application involves the utilization of four miBot nanomanipulators for precisely positioning in situ (SEM FEI XL-30) tungsten probes on the nanowire, without causing modification or damage to its structure. The miBase is connected with a semiconductor characterization system (Keithley Instruments 4200-SCS) for performing I-V and C-V measurements.

About Imina Technologies

Imina Technologies is a privately held company founded in 2009 to exploit more than ten years of research in high precision robotics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland (EPFL).

With many years of experience in precision engineering, micro-robotics and nanomanipulation, Imina's interdisciplinary team is geared up for the needs of the most demanding users. Their unique combination of know-how enables them to propose complete solutions for even the most specific applications.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Imina Technologies.

For more information on this source, please visit Imina Technologies.

Date Added: Dec 31, 2012 | Updated: Jun 11, 2013
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