APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:
- Making electrical, thermal and mechanical contacts to nanostructures
- Wire bonding machines used in semiconductor industry
- Fast and inexpensive
- No risk of contamination
- Suitable for large-scale manufacturing
Alex Zettl and Çağlar Girit of Berkeley Lab have developed a miniaturized soldering technology to solder submicron-sized, ohmic contacts to nanostructures of even single-atom thickness. The approach is inexpensive, rapid and entirely avoids sample contamination.
The conventional method used to contact nanostructures electrically is electron beam lithography. While having good resolution, the procedure is complex, expensive and time-consuming. Moreover, the polymer resists and solvents used in the process leave residues that often contaminate the sample or device. As a result, the major contribution to the device resistance is not from the sample itself, but from the contact. While lithography-free contacting techniques have been developed, such as with the use of shadow masks, they have their drawbacks. The Berkeley Lab approach addresses the need for a robust, inexpensive technology suitable for large-scale manufacturing that does not introduce contamination.
DEVELOPMENT STAGE: The inventors have demonstrated their technology as described in the publication linked below.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Girit, C. O., Zettl, A. “Soldering to a Single Atomic Layer,” Applied Physics Letters, 91, 193512, (2007).
STATUS: Issued U. S. Patent # 8033445 available at www.uspto.gov.
SEE THESE OTHER BERKELEY LAB TECHNOLOGIES IN THIS FIELD:
Scalable Methods for Growing, Shaping and Placing Nanostructures
REFERENCE NUMBER: IB-2497