Nano Electromechanical Devices: Opportunities and Challenges
Stanford University, US
NEMS, nano electromechanical devices
This talk will review the challenges involved in the scaling of MEMS technology into the nanoscale, as well as the issues in using synthetic nanostructures in nano electro-mechanical (NEM) devices. A variety of applications, including new logic and memory devices, nanoscale sensors, and nano mirror arrays for projection lithography, are motivating these developments.
The scaling of conventional polysilicon mechanical elements from a volume of 10 mm x 2 mm x 1 mm by an order of magnitude in each dimension is certainly feasible using state-of-the-art lithography and etching. However, the resulting nanomechanical structure will have significantly different properties, due to the ten-fold increase in the ratio of grain size and surface oxide layer to its thickness, as well as the thousand-fold increase in surface-to-volume ratio. Such considerations will motivate the use of different materials and processes for NEM devices.
Locally grown nanostructures (e.g., nanowires) or prefabricated structural elements (e.g., nanotubes), provide a different set of challenges for the NEM device designer. These structures may offer a higher degree of precision and exceptional electromechanical properties; however, processes to integrate synthetic nanostructures into conventional lithographic nanofabrication remain very much a work in progress.
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Nanotech 2006 Conference Program Abstract