Subnanometer-Precision Positioning for Imaging, Nanofabrication, and Integration

Award Information
Department of Defense
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
1617 Sherman Avenue, Madison, WI, 53704
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Katerina Moloni
Senior Scientist/VP Marke
(608) 204-8756
Business Contact:
John Biondi
(608) 204-8751
Research Institution:
The work will lead to the development of improved nanopositioners through the successful application of new mechanical designs, in particular those related to thermal stability.The work will lead to new electronics required to operate nanopositioners particularly at high speeds, at higher resolution, and with greater stability. The work will lead to the introduction of improved feedback systems into nanopositioner design,providing the opportunity for higher speeds, more reliable performance, and greater user friendliness. The work will lead to nanopositioners with a high degree of thermal stability.The Phase II effort will serve as a foundation for follow-on research and development as summarize briefly:It is clear that our work will enable much of nanoscience research as it progresses from the initial gee-whiz experiments to more advanced implementations. In that sense it serves as a follow-on to much research outside of nPoint. In terms of follow-onwork within nPoint the present effort will potentially lead us beyond the vision of component maker to the larger vision of integrated tools and instruments, and to an expansion to other product lines. We are already setting out to develop a retrofit kitfor AFMs that will allow true and absolute metrological measurements on the AFM. We could in the future move beyond that to complete systems, such as nanoprecision machining tools, metrology tools, writing tools, and manipulation tools. In addition thereare opportunities in test instrumentation (e.g., for the data storage industry). Ultimately, with our new materials, we expect to enable technology in areas, such as ultrafine electron beam lithography, where eddy currents in metal stages cause beamdistortion, or other applications for which metals are inappropriate.All of our discussion has been in terms of linear motions. But there is significant opportunity in high-precision angular motion, e.g., piezo-driven linear to rotary motion transducers. The work we will do on electronics and feedback will be valuable inthis enterprise, as well as improvements in mechano-thermal loops that we will make.The success of this Phase II effort will impact future developments at nPoint:The work will enable the work outlined in Sec. 3 and through that will drive future revenues for nPoint.The work will enhance military applications in IR sensing and laser guidance.The work will have potential spin-off products in capacitance sensors and other areas, such as complete systems or subsystems rather than components we now supply to OEM customers.The work will allow CD metrology to advance significantly in terms of speed, and combined with our probe development, in resolution.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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