This collaborative research project is focused on understanding the fundamental optical and plasma mechanisms in the laser-assisted tip-based nanomanufacturing (LA-TBN) process, utilizing the understanding to identify the optimal conditions for near-field radiation enhancement and plasma-mediated ablation at the sample surface that allow the use of advanced control techniques to achieve robust, high-speed, high-quality LA-TBN. The near-field radiation enhanced plasma-mediated ablation effect and possibly associated thermal side effects during the LA-TBN process will be clarified and distinguished through simulation and experiments enabled by the use of advanced control techniques. The gained knowledge will then be used to analyze and optimize the nanofabrication conditions towards fabrication robustness and quality. The optimal fabrication conditions will be achieved through the development and implementation of advanced control techniques, which in turn, leads to high-speed and high quality nanofabrication. The technique will be implemented and evaluated through the fabrication of a maze-like complicated pattern in single crystal silicon. The success of this project will not only significantly enhance the advantages of the LA-TBN process over other nanofabrication methodologies, including low-cost, ultra-high-resolution and versatility in materials that can be processed, but willalso increase understanding of the fundamental mechanisms involved in this intriguing process. As one of the first systematic attempts to overcome critical barriers in the LA-TBN process, this project enables these advantages for the productive implementations of this technique in strategically important areas, such as semiconductors. The educational activities comprise curriculum development, recruitment and retaining of under-represented students, and outreach to K-12.
|Effective start/end date||8/15/12 → 7/31/15|
- National Science Foundation (NSF)