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High-Speed Platform for Highly Parallel STM lithography and Hierarchical Assembly

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0018527
Agency Tracking Number: 243873
Amount: $982,355.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: 17e
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0001975
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-05-28
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-05-27
Small Business Information
1301 N. PlaNo Road
Richardson, TX 75081-2426
United States
DUNS: 796537269
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 James Owen
 (214) 384-0723
Business Contact
 John Randall
Phone: (214) 641-6458
Research Institution
 University of Texas at Dallas
 S. O. Reza Moheimani
800 West Campbell Road
Richardson, TX 75080-3021
United States

 (801) 581-3450
 Nonprofit College or University

Nanotechnology has failed to live up to its promise of exploiting the emerging properties at the nanoscale because of the lack of manufacturing precision thus denying society many energy saving materials and applications. There is therefore a strong need to realize the promise of complex nanosystems by developing atomically precise manufacturing (APM). This project targets a key component of an Atomically Precise Manufacturing system: a high-speed sub-nanometer precision manufacturing platform stage for atomic precision patterning and hierarchical assembly. The overall objective is to devise a platform based on Micro-Electrical Mechanical Systems (MEMS) technology comprising hardware, software and control algorithms for Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM)-based high-speed imaging and high-throughput lithography. We will develop xyz nanopositioners using MEMS technology with sub-Ã…ngstrom accuracy, and use them to develop an STM, which will not suffer from many of the limitations of piezoelectric scanners. Secondly, the use of MEMS technology will enable the possibility of developing an STM with multiple tips scanning simultaneously, so as to scale the overall throughput of a lithography system. A MEMS-based Z actuator is being built and tested in air and in a ultra-high vacuum (UHV) STM system at Zyvex Labs. The design for the 2DOF XY nanopositioner was completed. Task 1: Build 2D xy scanner, based on design from Phase I. Use 1DOF actuator for z axis. Mount onto a UHV STM system at Zyvex Labs for testing as a single-probe MEMS-based STM. Task 2: Design and build array of z-axis actuators, and mount onto 2D xy scanner to make multitip STM. Requires coarse tip approach motors. Task 3: Design control system for multitip STM, to allow for automatic landing of the probes, and planarization of the array onto the surface. Implement into ZyVector controller. Task 4: Develop a means to prepare atomically-sharp STM tips suitable for imaging and lithography on the z-axis MEMS actuators, and to repair or replace these tips as necessary. Task 5: Commercialize products as appropriate in collaboration with our existing partners. The first candidate is the high-bandwidth 1DOF z-axis actuator as an enhancement to a standard STM. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: Zyvex, which has a history of commercializing innovative nanotechnology products, will introduce these high-speed, ultra-high precision stages to first address the STM imaging research market at universities, national labs and commercial research companies, and move one to develop research tools for nano-manufacturing development, then metrology and inspection tools for advanced high precision manufacturing, and finally will enable Atomically Precise Manufacturing as a platform both for parallel atomic precision patterning and parallel hierarchical assembly. Atomically Precise Manufacturing will produce unprecedented energy efficient products across a wide range of applications. It will also enable materials with engineered properties including extremely high specific strength for additional energy efficiency from abundant materials.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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