IBM has unveiled a microscopic 3D printer capable of writing micro MM resolution patterns into a soft chemical compound, which afterwards could be transferred to semiconductor, III-V (gallium chemical compound — GaAs), or grapheme substrates. In opposition to electron-beam (e-beam) lithography, the patterns are often each written and browsed for verification in period of time, where the engineer watches below a magnifier.
“The massive distinction when put next to e-beam is that you simply will be able to write 3D patterns, which are very difficult for e-beams” Colin Rawlings, a researcher at IBM commented. “The alternative massive distinction is its imaging capability — we will browse similarly as write. After making a 3D pattern we have a tendency to then shut down the warmth to the tip and use it like an AFM [atomic force microscope]to live with sub-nanometer resolution — permitting us to verify our 3D patterns similarly as simply find structures below the compound layer.”
The microscopic 3D printer is being authorized to a Zurich startup – SwissLitho AG, which calls it the NanoFrazor — a play on words between English word razor and also the German word for “milling machine” Frase. The NanoFrazor, that behaves sort of a micro MM resolution shaper, outperforms e-beams in some ways however prices a fraction of the value — around $500,000, as against to e-beams, that value from $1.5 million to the maximum amount as $30 million.
“The NanoFrazor is nice for fast prototyping of all kinds of applications.” Rawlings said. He further adds “It runs open loop so as to realize scan speeds of millimeters per second and uses a specialized heated tip, mounted on a flexible cantilever, that’s 700 nanometers long, however simply ten nanometers in radius at its tip.”
Line breadth accuracy is ten nm, however 3D depth accuracy is one nm, whereas reading back the measured depth of patterns has sub-nanometer accuracy. IBM hopes to be prototyping tunneling field-effect transistors (FETs) in III-V and grapheme materials by the end quarter of 2014, by employing a planography transfer technique.
IBM is additionally experimenting with its 3D printing techniques in quantum computing applications where it hopes to produce patterns to manage and manipulate the light and weight on a chip in ways that are impracticable with ancient lithography.