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Technical Brief

Machining Complex Three-Dimensional Nanostructures With an Atomic Force Microscope Through the Frequency Control of the Tip Reciprocating Motions

[+] Author and Article Information
Yanquan Geng

The State Key Laboratory of Robotics and Systems,
Robotics Institute,
Harbin Institute of Technology,
Harbin 150080, Heilongjiang, China;
Center for Precision Engineering,
Harbin Institute of Technology,
Harbin 150001, Heilongjiang, China;
Cardiff School of Engineering,
Cardiff University,
Cardiff CF24 3AA, UK
e-mail: gengyanquan@gmail.com

Yongda Yan

The State Key Laboratory of Robotics and Systems,
Robotics Institute,
Harbin Institute of Technology,
Harbin 150080, Heilongjiang, China;
Center for Precision Engineering,
Harbin Institute of Technology,
Harbin 150001, Heilongjiang, China
e-mail: yanyongda@hit.edu.cn

Emmanuel Brousseau

Cardiff School of Engineering,
Cardiff University,
Cardiff CF24 3AA, UK
e-mail: BrousseauE@cardiff.ac.uk

Xing Cui

The State Key Laboratory of Robotics and Systems,
Robotics Institute,
Harbin Institute of Technology,
Harbin 150080, Heilongjiang, China;
Center for Precision Engineering,
Harbin Institute of Technology,
Harbin 150001, Heilongjiang, China
e-mail: wa_cuixing@163.com

Bowen Yu

The State Key Laboratory of Robotics and Systems,
Robotics Institute,
Harbin Institute of Technology,
Harbin 150080, Heilongjiang, China;
Center for Precision Engineering,
Harbin Institute of Technology,
Harbin 150001, Heilongjiang, China
e-mail: yubowen1990@gmail.com

Xuesen Zhao

Center for Precision Engineering,
Harbin Institute of Technology,
Harbin 150001, Heilongjiang, China
e-mail: zxs0327@126.com

Zhenjiang Hu

Center for Precision Engineering,
Harbin Institute of Technology,
Harbin 150001, Heilongjiang, China
e-mail: lyhoo@163.com

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received May 9, 2016; final manuscript received September 27, 2016; published online October 25, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Allen Y. Yi.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 138(12), 124501 (Oct 25, 2016) (8 pages) Paper No: MANU-16-1268; doi: 10.1115/1.4034892 History: Received May 09, 2016; Revised September 27, 2016

A novel method relying on atomic force microscope (AFM) tip based nanomachining is presented to enable the fabrication of microchannels that exhibit complex three-dimensional (3D) nanoscale floor surface geometries. To achieve this, reciprocating lateral displacements of the tip of an AFM probe are generated, while a high-precision stage is also actuated to move in a direction perpendicular to such tip motions. The width and length of microchannels machined in this way are determined by the amplitude of the tip motion and the stage displacement, respectively. Thus, the processing feed can be changed during the process as it is defined by the combined control of the frequency of the tip reciprocating motions and the stage speed. By employing the built-in force feedback loop of conventional AFM systems during such operations, the variation of the feed leads to different machined depths. Thus, this results in the capability to generate complex 3D nanostructures, even for a given normal load, which is set by the AFM user prior to the start of the process. In this paper, the fabrication of different microchannels with floor surfaces following half triangular, triangular, sinusoidal, and top-hat waveforms is demonstrated. It is anticipated that this method could be employed to fabricate complex nanostructures more readily compared to traditional vacuum-based lithography processes.

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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

(a) Schematic of the developed setup, (b) the AFM tip reciprocating motion along the X direction, and (c) illustration of the effect of changing the tip speed, Vtip, on the feed

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

AFM image and profile of a channel fabricated with a normal load 77.0 μN and a feed of 80 nm

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Machined depth as a function of the feed for different normal loads and fitted second-order polynomials

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

AFM images and cross sections of the sinusoidal waveforms fabricated with the normal loads of (a) 77.0 μN, (b) 112.9 μN, and (c) 148.8 μN

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

AFM images and cross sections of the sinusoidal waveforms fabricated with the normal loads of 77.0 μN and the period of (a) 2 μm, (b) 5 μm, (c) 10 μm, and (d) 15 μm

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

AFM images and cross sections of (a) half triangular, (b) triangular, and (c) top-hat waveforms

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