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Volume 19 Issue 03 - Publications Date: 1 March 2000
 
Massively Parallel Nanorobotics for Lithography and Data Storage
 
A.A.G. Requicha University of Southern California
 
Nanometer-scale structures and devices can be constructed by using the tip of a scanning probe microscope (SPM) as a robot. The tip manipulates nanocomponents to build assemblies, or induces material deposition to form patterns on a substrate. Fabrication by SPM methods has severe throughput problems, which can be solved by using arrays of tips built by MEMS (MicroElectroMechanical Systems) technology, in conjunction with the strategies and algorithms presented in this paper. Massively parallel methods are described here for writing and reading nanometer-scale patterns of lines or dots, or for manipulating nanoparticles with arrays of SPM tips. The tip array moves as a whole in the x, y plane of the substrate, and does not require individual x, y drives and controllers for the individual tips. Applications to nanolithography are discussed, as well as a microelectromechanical storage device, analogous to a compact disc (CD) on a chip, and called an editable nanoCD. NanoCDs can be read and edited by the tip-array methods presented here, and have bit densities and reading speeds that are several orders of magnitude higher than those of current CDs.
 
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