Monday, November 27, 2006

US Patent 7138331 - Nanogap Electrode Sensor

In order to achieve detection on the nanoscale it is often necessary to position sensing electrodes within nanometers of one another. Unfortunately it is difficult to position and/or reliably reproduce identical seperation distances which would be required for mass production of such sensors. This patent proposes a fairly elegant solution which takes advantage of the ability to form uniform thickness films in the production of a nanogap electrode. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for manufacturing a nano-gap electrode device, comprising: forming a first electrode on a substrate; forming a separation layer with a predetermined thickness all over the substrate including the first electrode; removing a portion or all of the separation layer on the first electrode; forming a second electrode on the separation layer, which is formed on the substrate at a side of the first electrode; and forming a nano-gap between the first electrode and the second electrode, by completely removing the separation layer remained therebetween; wherein the separation layer is formed with the same thickness as a width of the nano-gap, and deposited with the same thickness on a surface and a sidewall of the first electrode, and the substrate.