Next Generation Tools for Nanoscience
Sandia National Laboratories, US
Keywords: surface science, scanning probe, microscopy, simulation
Decades of atomic scale research and the invention of key techniques enable today's scientific discoveries at the nanometer length scale. Now the challenge is to develop the next generation of methods and tools that will allow us to explore phenomena in the regime where ensembles of atoms or molecules exhibit collective behavior distinctly different from the microscopic and macroscopic worlds. For example, in order to better understand the fundamental aspects of self-assembly processes at surfaces, we are developing a combined Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM) and Low Energy Electron Microscope (LEEM). The next generation Interfacial Force Microscope (IFM) will retain the unique ability to simultaneously measure normal and lateral forces, under both attractive and repulsive loads, while gaining orders of magnitude force sensitivity. Thirdly, massively parallel computing combined with advances in first-principles methods permit molecular dynamics simulations of nanometer sized systems comparable to those studied experimentally. Beyond these advances are the ideas for tools that we simply could not have envisioned until now, such ''integration platforms,'' microfabricated ''disposable'' experiments, and ''self-assembled software.'' Progress toward realizing these concepts and implementing the more conventional next generation tools described above will be presented.
Nanotech 2004 Conference Technical Program Abstract