Tip Based Nanomanipulation Through Successive Directional Push

[+] Author and Article Information
Wei Zhao

Department of Mechanical, Materials and Aerospace Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL 60616wzhao10@iit.edu

Kangmin Xu

Department of Mechanical, Materials and Aerospace Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL 60616kxu8@iit.edu

Xiaoping Qian1

Department of Mechanical, Materials and Aerospace Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL 60616qian@iit.edu

Rong Wang

Department of Biological, Chemical, and Physical Sciences, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL 60616wangr@iit.edu


Corresponding author.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 132(3), 030909 (May 26, 2010) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4001676 History: Received August 14, 2009; Revised March 31, 2010; Published May 26, 2010; Online May 26, 2010

Nanomanipulation refers to the process of transporting nanoscale components. It has found applications in nanodevice prototyping and biomolecular and cellular investigation. In this paper, we present an atomic force microscope (AFM) based approach for automated manipulation of nanoparticles to form designed patterns. The automated manipulation is based on a novel method, successive directional push. This method keeps pushing along a fixed forward direction until the particle reaches the baseline of the target position, and it then repeats the pushing process along the baseline direction. This process is iterated until the particle reaches its target position. By examining the topography of several local parallel scan lines, this method can determine the lateral coordinate of the particle. The novelty of this method lies in the fact that further pushing along the same pushing direction can be conducted without precise information about the forward position. The successive directional push method has been successfully implemented into an AFM system. We demonstrate that complex designed patterns including over 100 latex particles of 50 nm diameter can be fabricated with this method.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

An example pattern (IIT NANO CAD) created from our nanomanipulation system, consisting of 114 latex particles of 50 nm diameter each. The image size is 12×5 μm2.

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Figure 2

Hardware architecture of a commercial AFM-based nanomanipulation system

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Figure 3

Parallel line scans to locate the lateral position of the particle: (a) line scans along the push path and (b) the topography signal of the line scans

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Figure 4

Pushing verification: in (a) and (b) where a particle has not reached the destination and the corresponding topography signal; ((c) and (d)) a particle has been moved to its destination and the corresponding topography signal.

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Figure 5

Successive directional push with lateral drift Δxi and forward movement Δyi for the ith push

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Figure 6

General process flow for the nanomanipulation system

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Figure 7

Preprocessing steps for automated particle processing: (a) sample scanning, (b) particle identification, and (c) pushing path specification

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Figure 8

Real-time signals during the pushing: (a) amplitude, (b) deflection, and (c) topography

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Figure 9

Manipulation process for a seven-particle star: (a) initial scanned image and the user-designed final pattern, (b) a specified pushing path and the pushing result, (c) several particle pushing paths and the final result, and (d) removing unwanted particles

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Figure 10

Manipulation process for a six-particle triangle: (a) Initial image and the designed pattern, (b) final result, and (c) zoom-in of the result

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Figure 11

Movement history of ten particles each moving forward 580 nm

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Figure 12

Pushing statistics: forward and lateral movement



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