Introduction to Nanomanufacturing
In January 1996, scientists at IBM’s Zurich Research Laboratory showed for the first time that individual molecules can be moved and precisely positioned at room temperature using a scanning tunneling microscope (STM). In 1989, scientists at IBM’s Almaden Research Center in California became the first to show that it is possible to position individual atoms, when they wrote the letters ‘‘IBM” with 35 xenon atoms. However, this was possible only at a very low temperature (
C). This pioneering research proved that it is possible to directly manipulate molecules and atoms, and opened the door to the possibility of nanoscale-directed assembly. Since the advent of the STM and AFM, scientific breakthroughs in nanoscience have come at a rapid rate. The transfer of nanoscience accomplishments into technology, however, is severely hindered by a lack of understanding of the barriers to manufacturing in the nanoscale dimension. For example, while shrinking dimensions hold the promise of exponential increases in datastorage densities, realistic commercial products cannot be realized without first answering the question of how one can assemble and connect billions of nanoscale elements, or how one can prevent failures and avoid defects in such an assembly. Most nanotechnology research focuses on manipulating several to several hundred nanoelements (nanoparticles, nanotubes, molecules, etc.) to assemble into a specific
structure or pattern. There is a need to conduct fast, massive, directed assemblies of nanoscale elements at high rates and over large areas. To move scientific discoveries from the laboratory to commercial products, a different set of fundamental research issues must be addressed such as scale-up of assembly process to production volumes, process robustness and reliability, and integration of nanoscale structures and devices into micro-, meso-, and macroscale products. The field of nanomanufacturing is very broad and highly interdisciplinary. This chapter gives an overview of nanomanufacturing challenges, top-down and bottom-up approaches, and combined top-down and bottom-up approaches, as well as a short discussion on nanoscale registration and alignment and reliability and defect control.