Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ultra-fast Laser Allows Efficient, Accessible Nanoscale Machining

Date:
April 22, 2004
Source:
University Of Michigan
Summary:
Think of a microscopic milling machine, capable of cutting just about any material with better-than-laser precision, in 3-D -- and at the nanometer scale.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Think of a microscopic milling machine, capable of cutting just about any material with better-than-laser precision, in 3-D -- and at the nanometer scale.

In a paper published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, University of Michigan researchers explain how and why using a femtosecond pulsed laser enables extraordinarily precise nanomachining. The capabilities of the ultra-fast or ultra-short pulsed laser have significant implications for basic scientific research, and for practical applications in the nanotechnology industry.

Initially, the researchers working at the Center for Ultrafast Optical Science wanted to use the ultra-fast laser as a powerful tool to study structures within living cells, said Alan Hunt, assistant professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering.

"It turned out we could push much farther than expected and the applications became broad, from microelectronics applications to MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) to microfluidics," Hunt said. One of the most perplexing problems in nanotechnology is finding an efficient and precise way to build and machine the tiny devices. For example, a human hair is about 100,000 nanometers across.

The unique physics of an ultra-short pulsed laser used at a very high intensity make it possible to selectively ablate or cut away features as small as 20 nanometers, Hunt said. This is possible because of the unique physics of how extremely short pulses of light interact with matter; specifically using femtosecond pulses, a blast of light just a quadrillionth of a second long.

Currently, there is no easy way to machine a wide variety of materials on the nanometer scale, Hunt said, and the technique with capabilities closest to the ultrafast laser is electron beam lithography. Even this approach does not allow machining below the surface or within a material.

Photolithography, the technique used to make computer chips, is used to do such machining on a larger scale but is difficult to get to the nanometer scale, requires specific materials and can generally only be used on one plane. For example, that means that channels on a chip cannot cross without mixing, placing a severe constraint on the microfluidics and "lab on a chip" designs.

But the unique physics of the femtosecond pulse allows machining in 3-D, Hunt said.

"If we have three channels on a plane, we can link the outer two without cutting into the center one, we can go down over and up, we can cut a U-shape," Hunt said. "Not being constrained to one plane, the level of complexity that can be achieved is much greater."

The research team included Hunt; Gerard Mourou, professor of electrical engineering and computer science; Ajit Joglekar, who recently completed his doctorate in biomedical engineering; Hsiao-hua Liu, a post doc at the Center for Ultrafast Optical Science; and Edgar Meyhofer, associate professor of biomedical engineering and mechanical engineering.

###

The U-M College of Engineering is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, and is consistently ranked among the top engineering schools in the world. The college is comprised of 11 academic departments: aerospace engineering; atmospheric, oceanic and space sciences; biomedical engineering; chemical engineering; civil and environmental engineering; electrical engineering and computer science; industrial and operations engineering; materials science and engineering; mechanical engineering; naval architecture and marine engineering; and nuclear engineering and radiological sciences. Each year the college enrolls over 7,000 undergraduate and graduate students and grants about 1,200 undergraduate degrees and 800 masters and doctoral degrees. To learn more, visit http://www.engin.umich.edu.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Michigan. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Michigan. "Ultra-fast Laser Allows Efficient, Accessible Nanoscale Machining." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 April 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/04/040421234914.htm>.
University Of Michigan. (2004, April 22). Ultra-fast Laser Allows Efficient, Accessible Nanoscale Machining. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/04/040421234914.htm
University Of Michigan. "Ultra-fast Laser Allows Efficient, Accessible Nanoscale Machining." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/04/040421234914.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

AFP (Apr. 17, 2014) It walks and runs, even up and down stairs. It can open a bottle and serve a drink, and politely tries to shake hands with a stranger. Meet the latest ASIMO, Honda's humanoid robot. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) German researchers have used a fake fingerprint made from glue to bypass the fingerprint security system on Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Porsche CEO Says Supercar Is Not Dead: Cue the Spyder 918

Porsche CEO Says Supercar Is Not Dead: Cue the Spyder 918

TheStreet (Apr. 16, 2014) The Porsche Spyder 918 proves that, in an automotive world obsessed with fuel efficiency, the supercar is not dead. Porsche North America CEO Detlev von Platen attributes the brand's consistent sales growth -- 21% in 2013 -- with an investment in new technology and expanded performance dynamics. The hybrid Spyder 918 has 887 horsepower and 944 lb-ft of torque, but it can run 18 miles on just an electric charge. The $845,000 vehicle is not a consumer-targeted vehicle but a brand statement. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins