Thursday, August 21, 2008

US Patent 7413973 - Nanogap electrode device fabrication

In order to create nanoscale sensors or electronics it is often necessary to create electrode gaps having nanometer scale dimensions. A variety of techniques exist to form such nanoscale gaps including electron beam lithography and the precise application of mechanical stress to an electrode to create a gap in the electrode. However, these techniques are not amenable to mass production and are difficult to control. This patent from the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute of South Korea teaches a method of forming lateral spaced apart electrodes using a spacer which may provide a more convenient road to large scale applications. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for manufacturing a nano-gap electrode device, comprising the steps of:

forming a first electrode on a substrate;

forming a spacer on a sidewall of the first electrode;

forming a second electrode on an exposed substrate at a side of the spacer; and

forming a nano-gap between the first electrode and the second electrode by removing the spacer, wherein, after the second electrode is formed, a portion of the spacer on the sidewall of the first electrode remains exposed.