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National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) Achieves Real-Time Observation of Nano-Scale Cutting Process
 

Tokyo, Apr 8, 2006 (JCN) - The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) and Toyama University have jointly developed a nano-mechanical fabrication system working in a scanning electron microscope (SEM), and succeeded in real-time imaging of the nano-scale cutting process for a single crystal of silicon.

The new fabrication system utilizes the mechanics of atomic force microscopes (AFM), using a special cantilever for fabrication developed for the system. For nano-scale cutting in this system, the cutting depth can be controlled in the range of 1-100 nm (1 nm = 10-6 m) by changing the normal load applied to the cutting edge fixed on the cantilever tip. The tip of the cutting edge can be observed by the SEM, and the nano-scale cutting process can be recorded as a movie.

The direct observation of the fabrication process can provide more valuable information than point signal logging, and become a powerful tool for clarifying the removal mechanism of materials by cutting and for determining optimal fabrication conditions.

AIST expects the new system to accelerate development of practical uses of nano-fabrication techniques, such as the fabrication and repair of nano-molds used in nano-imprints.

By Chris Lui Staff Writer

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