Agilent Technologies Inc.
(NYSE: A) today announced it is collaborating with Stanford University in
a research program designed to explore a new class of nanoscale devices using
a combinations of the scanning probe microscope (SPM) and atomic layer deposition
(ALD). The research will enable the rapid prototyping and characterization of
nanoscale devices with breakthroughs in sub 10 nm scale for a wide range of
"The novel nanostructures will be fabricated and characterized in-situ
in this unique SPM-ALD tool in order to rapidly prototype a wide variety of
next-generation devices," said Fritz Prinz, professor and chairman, mechanical
engineering, Stanford University. "The SPM-ALD tool will enable us to build
devices which take advantage of the quantum confinement effects present at small
length scales, length scales that could not be accessed with traditional lithography
methods. These devices can only be built with manufacturing tools possessing
extraordinary spatial resolution."
This program focuses on the integration of ALD, a thin-film technique capable
of sub-nanometer precision in thickness, with the nanometer lateral resolution
SPM in a drive to extend the capability of scanning probe techniques to prototyping
and device fabrication. Historically, performance of electronic devices has
been limited by traditional manufacturing methods, such as optical and electron
beam lithography, which are not likely to deliver feature resolution significantly
below 20 nm. However, the quantum mechanical effects of electron confinement
in devices 10 nm or smaller result in phenomena qualitatively different than
those seen in larger devices. Taking advantage of this quantum confinement is
predicted to result in a new paradigm for electronic devices.
"We chose Stanford University for this grant for the recognized expertise
of professor Prinz and team, and the close alignment between the proposed research
and the future of Agilent's SPM business," said Jack Wenstrand, Agilent's
director of university relations. The work between Agilent and Stanford University
is part of Agilent's University Relations Program, which facilitates collaborations
with universities around the world. Agilent supports scientific work with universities
worldwide through direct grants and collaborative research.