Ion-beam sculpting at nanometre length scales

Nature
J LiJ A Golovchenko

Abstract

Manipulating matter at the nanometre scale is important for many electronic, chemical and biological advances, but present solid-state fabrication methods do not reproducibly achieve dimensional control at the nanometre scale. Here we report a means of fashioning matter at these dimensions that uses low-energy ion beams and reveals surprising atomic transport phenomena that occur in a variety of materials and geometries. The method is implemented in a feedback-controlled sputtering system that provides fine control over ion beam exposure and sample temperature. We call the method "ion-beam sculpting", and apply it to the problem of fabricating a molecular-scale hole, or nanopore, in a thin insulating solid-state membrane. Such pores can serve to localize molecular-scale electrical junctions and switches and function as masks to create other small-scale structures. Nanopores also function as membrane channels in all living systems, where they serve as extremely sensitive electro-mechanical devices that regulate electric potential, ionic flow, and molecular transport across cellular membranes. We show that ion-beam sculpting can be used to fashion an analogous solid-state device: a robust electronic detector consisting of a singl...Continue Reading

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Citations

Jun 27, 2006·Biomedical Microdevices·Hung ChangRashid Bashir
Feb 1, 2011·Biomedical Microdevices·Lei Chen, A T Conlisk
Oct 28, 2011·Analytical Chemistry·Zachary D HarmsStephen C Jacobson
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Aug 8, 2013·Journal of the American Chemical Society·Misha SoskineGiovanni Maglia
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Apr 30, 2011·The Journal of Physical Chemistry. B·Abhijit RamachandranYaling Liu
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Jun 6, 2013·ACS Nano·Silvia Hernández-AinsaUlrich F Keyser

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