Tuesday, June 03, 2008

US Patent 7381625 - Deterministic nanodevice construction using AFM


The use of scanning tunneling microscopes and atomic force microscopes to position atomic and molecular structures goes back to work done by Don Eigler of IBM in the late 1980's. This patent from Michigan State University teaches a modification of these methods which scratches an electrode into two portions using an AFM tip and using the tip to position nanostructures such as carbon nanotubes between the electrodes. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for constructing a nanodevice, comprising:

fabricating an electrode structure on a substrate surface;

forming a nanogap across the electrode structure, thereby forming a pair of electrodes;

dispersing a plurality of nanoobjects onto the substrate surface using electrophoresis; and

positioning one of the nanoobjects in relation to the pair of electrodes using a tip of an atomic force microscope, wherein the one nanoobject connects one of the electrodes to the other electrode.